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Drink? Facts About Alcohol You Never Knew

Have you ever tried Dry January? Or have generally tried to change your relationship with alcohol for the better? Perhaps you abstain anyway. Either way, these sobering facts from Drink? The New Science of Alcohol and Your Health by Professor David Nutt might just keep you on the straight and narrow…

Did you know?

#1 If alcohol had been discovered in the last year or two, it would be illegal. The safe limit, if you applied current food-standards criteria, would be one glass of wine a year.

#2 Policing drunkenness costs us more than £6 billion a year, treating related health problems costs the NHS over £3 billion.

#3 In the last 50 years, deaths from liver disease in this country have increased five-fold and half of all people in beds in orthopaedic wards are there because of alcohol-related injuries.

#4 If you have further social commitments that ‘require’ drinking in the near future, perhaps it’s worth considering some ways to moderate…

#5 A Bristol University study showed that people drank 60% more slowly from straight glasses than from ones that curved outwards. You drink a curved glass faster because it makes you think the halfway point is lower than it really is…

#6 New neuroscience research from Sussex University found that even one pint can compromise a driver’s safety because it gives you an exaggerated feeling of being in control – and overconfidence can be dangerous.

#7 Numerous MPs have admitted to getting merry while on Commons business, while some have actually been roaring drunk. One member described being too intoxicated to be able to walk through the voting chambers.


In better news…

There is evidence that alcohol can help us be creative. The theory behind this is that alcohol stops you from focusing and cuts down your working memory, so widening the scope of things you have in mind and allowing you to think outside the box. In a recent university study, participants were given vodka cranberry juice and asked to do a creative word game. The drinkers were more accurate and faster than the players who were sober, and they said they felt more intuitive.


All things considered, it is worth interrogating your relationship with alcohol and asking yourself if you truly do need another drink.