Friday, 3 October 2014

"Drink recommended to help cut drug dependence"

From the BBC:

Alcoholic beverages formulated to reduce drug consumption among anxiety sufferers look set to be recommended to NHS patients in England and Wales.

Beer, wine and spirits should be made available to people who currently take medication to combat depression, anxiety or feelings of social inadequacy, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) said.

Costing around 50p per unit, alcoholic drinks are already widely available in Scotland. Final guidance is set to be published next month and NICE says 600,000 people would no longer require prescriptions for expensive but ineffective drugs.

Alcohol, which is also called "booze" or "a tipple", is taken orally as a fluid in the afternoon or evenings and reduces the urge to take psychopharmaceuticals. Retailers will be licensed to sell the fluid in sealed containers for consumption off their premises, and it has been observed that consumers of alcohol group together for psychosocial support.

If alcohol receives final approval, it will be recommended by the NHS to patients in England and Wales. Northern Ireland will review this final guidance before making a decision.

Prof Carole Longson, NICE Health Technology Evaluation Centre director, said alcohol could lead to an overall improvement in people's sense of general well-being.

"Those who enter premises with an 'on-licence' have already taken the first big steps to widening their social circle and meeting some interesting strangers, which is just as good as engaging with NHS support services and taking part in therapy programmes," she said.

"We are pleased to be able to recommend the use of alcohol to support people further in their efforts to fight work-related stress. When consumed before going to bed, alcohol has been also proven to reduce sleeplessness and it has enabled millions of shyness sufferers to start meaningful, long-term relationships with members of the opposite sex. Or indeed the same sex.

"Alcohol-based treatments are cost effective for the NHS compared with psychosocial support and medication, because 'drinkers' will be required to fund their own purchases. And those of their new best mates once the evening gets going."


A K Haart said...

I hope the final guidance allows doctors to prescribe brewing kits too. This would encourage patients to brew their own treatment beverages as well as introducing them to a rewarding hobby

Lola said...

AKH - Or a workshop on how to make your own still?

Ian Hills said...

The above two comments made me think - why don't groups of friends set up "home pubs"? If they jointly chip in to cover booze-making costs they're not breaking the law, and they're not paying tax, either.

New friends can be added to the circle as traditional pubs close through competition. Perhaps they can be converted into social housing.......

Lola said...

IH. So it's all round to yours then?

Bayard said...

IH, brilliant, the puritans will really hate that idea.

Steven_L said...

I've already tried asking if we can turn the lounge into a pool room. It's a non-starter.