ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION



In many parts of the world, drinking alcoholic beverages is a common feature of social gatherings [8]. In addition to the chronic diseases that may develop in those who drink large amounts of alcohol over a number of years, alcohol use is also associated with an increased risk of acute health conditions, such as injuries, including from traffic accidents[8]. The latest available figures show that in 2013 there were 240 deaths and 8,270 injuries due to drink driving accidents. England, Wales and Northern Ireland have the highest drink drive limit in Europe with the exception of Malta [3]. In England and Wales the current limit stands at 80mg of alcohol/100ml of blood, which is the highest legal limit in Europe with the exception of Malta [2] Research suggests that lowering the limit to 50mg/100ml would save over a hundred lives a year, and that £300 million would be saved in costs to the emergency services and hospitals [2]. Beyond health consequences, the harmful use of alcohol brings significant social and economic losses to individuals and society at large [9]. The United Kingdom was found to consume alcohol excessively compared to its European counterparts [29]. Administration of alcohol to alcohol-dependent individuals for research purposes, while contributing significantly to the fund of knowledge on etiology and treatment of alcohol dependence, has often raised clinical and ethical concerns that such exposure may adversely affect the individual's motivation to reduce drinking or abstain from drinking [30].


Audrone Barkauskiene