Showing posts with label alcohol. Show all posts
Showing posts with label alcohol. Show all posts

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Buckie Ban?

Buckfast has become a by-word for Scotland's hard drinking culture and the violence and vandalism that is linked to this culture. Strathclyde Police reported that  Buckfast, also known as Buckie, was mentioned in 6,496 crime reports from 2010 to 2012. It certainly attracts far more attention than any other drink with less than 1% of sales in Scotland. Successive government ministers including the current Scottish Justice Secretary, have highlighted it as a "problem" drink. The Scottish Parliament has heard calls for "Buckie" - as it has become known - to be banned and for the caffeine content to be reduced. One bottle contains as much caffeine as eight cans of Coke as well as 15% alcohol - a cocktail that some experts suggest makes Buckfast particularly potent.

Abbot David Charlesworth of Buckfast Abbey says of the monastery's tonic wine  "We don't make a product for it to be abused. That's not the idea. "It annoys me to think that these problems, all the social deprivation of an area of Scotland, is being put on our doorstep. That's not fair. I'm not producing drugs, which I know are going to be used abusively."

He added: "I've heard people say we should ban Buckfast. If you ban Buckfast, ban Scottish whisky. It's alcohol, much stronger. But oh no they wouldn't do that. So they are picking on a particular thing as a sort of conscience salver."

However the monastery does acknowledge a certain responsibility by  attempting to address problems, for example employing a youth worker in an area where the problems with the tonic wine were occurring. While Hampshire-based J Chandler and Co, which bottles and sells Buckfast, is taking legal action to stop the police adding its own anti-crime labels to bottles of the tonic wine claiming  it discriminates against its brand.

Let’s not be in any doubt, this is not about anti-drinking. The rich will swill their ports and brandies. This is about controlling workers  and saving some police time and hospital A&E expenses.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

health inequality

Statistics released by the Scottish Government show people from more deprived parts of Scotland are more likely to die from alcohol-related causes.

The largest rate of inequality was in alcohol-related deaths among those aged 45 – 74. The report says that while there have been improvements, death rates and levels of inequality were higher in 2010 than 1998.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

scotland's health shame

Scotland's suicide rate is almost 80% higher than England and Wales. More people die by suicide than from road accidents and drug deaths put together. It is the leading cause of death in young men. Over the past year, Tayside Police has collected information about every call where someone was at risk of suicide. It attended about 150 attempted or threatened suicides every month. On average, four suicide deaths a month in just Tayside.

 Detective Chief Inspector Gordon Milne said of the figures: "Extend that out across the whole of Scotland; there is a significant number of calls every day, every week, every month, every year, involving people who are in mental health crisis."

The mental health charity SAMH said even these latest figures from Tayside were still just the tip of the iceberg. Kirsty Keay, the charity's national programme manager for suicide prevention, said: "Suicide devastates Scotland's communities..."

A quarter of patients who end up in intensive care in Scotland have drink problems, most with chronic alcohol disease. The study of 771 patients across all 24 intensive care units published by the Anaesthesia medical journal, said many young and less well off people were affected.

Dr Timothy Geary
, an anaesthetic registrar at Glasgow's Victoria Infirmary and report co-author, said: "Alcohol disease adversely affects the outcome of critically ill patients and the burden of this in Scotland is higher than elsewhere in the UK." He added: "In Scotland, the frequency and volume of alcohol consumed is significantly higher than in the rest of the UK, as is the proportion of people with hazardous drinking habits. This corresponds to higher death rates, particularly for Scottish men, but only indicates a fraction of the deaths attributed to alcohol."

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