Should we still drink alcohol?


So the big health news last week was that drinking any alcohol was bad for our health and any benefit to our hearts was outweighed by the increased risk of cancer and other illnesses.

Now I don’t know about you, but deep down I have always known that alcohol was not good for me. I have had people close to me struggle with alcoholism, I have felt scared in public when people are drunk and disorderly and I have experienced the hangover after too much alcohol.

So why do we keep on drinking? I know I enjoy a few glasses of wine with a good meal and I enjoy a few drinks with friends. But my work is about supporting peoples’ health and wellbeing so what am I to think?

Well fortunately we don’t need to drink alcohol so giving up is one option but I also know I don’t want to give up completely.

I guess a Cambridge University Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk, Prof David Spiegelhalter, summed it up when he said everything we do involves some risk, including crossing the street. We don’t walk across a busy road when the traffic is rushing past so perhaps a few glasses of wine is the equivalent of crossing at the green man. So I will carry on with my few glasses of wine being mindful of the guidance of a maximum 14 units and a number of alcohol free days a week, and hopefully that will protect me from being run over by alcohol!

If you are troubled by alcohol remember you can get help from the Health Service, local charities or national organisations such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Reach out, get help, it is out there.


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