Thursday December 14 , 2017

addiction

anxiety

gambling

Addiction: a life long illness not lifestyle choice

Addiction: a life long illness not lifestyle choice

Addiction is a major health problem that costs as much as all other mental illnesses combined (about £40 billion per year) and about as much as cancer and cardiovascular disorders also.

At its core addiction is a state of altered brain function that leads to fundamental changes in behavior that are manifest by repeated use of alcohol or other drugs or engaging in activities such as gambling.  These are usually resisted, albeit unsuccessfully, by the addict.  The key features of addiction is therefore a state of habitual behaviour such as drug taking or gambling that is initially enjoyable but which eventually becomes self-sustaining or habitual. The urge to engage in the behaviour becomes so powerful that it interferes with normal life often to the point of overtaking work, personal relationships and family activities. At this point the person can be said to be addicted: the addict’s every thought and action is directed to their addiction and everything else suffers.

 

Drink deaths: failure to act will cost an extra 250,000 lives , say doctors

Soaring rates of liver disease will only be reduced by charging more for alcohol and restricting its availability, experts argue

Up to 250,000 people could die because of alcohol over the next 20 years unless ministers take strong action to tackle Britain’s chronic drink problems, leading doctors are warning.

The prediction comes in edition of the Lancet medical journal by three senior experts on alcohol, two of whom are advising the coalition on how to reduce drink-related harm.

In a scathing critique of the government’s approach to alcohol, the trio accuse ministers of pursuing policies that will make no difference to the soaring rates of drink-related liver disease. Ministers, including the health secretary, Andrew Lansley, are “too close” to the drinks industry and too reluctant to take effective steps, they say.

 

Gambling problems on the increase in Britain

Nearly three-quarters of Britons engaged in gambling last year, a survey has concluded.

The survey of 7,756 people done for the Gambling Commission found the amount of betting has increased to levels last seen in the late 1990s.

The proportion of what the regulator calls “problem gamblers” has also increased.

The report estimates that 451,000 people have issues with betting, a rise on previous surveys in 2007 and 1999.

The analysis, entitled The British Gambling Prevalence Survey, was drawn up by experts at the National Centre for Social Research.

It found the number of people gambling in the UK is on the rise.

Nearly three-quarters of adults – 73% – gambled in the previous year, a rise from the 63% who were betting at the time of the last report in 2007.

 

Drugs and harm to society

David Nutt and colleagues1 point out the extent of harm that alcohol does to individuals and to society. In countries with an established market economy, alcohol accounts for 10·3% of disability-adjusted life-years2 (second only to tobacco, with 11·7%).

Relevant also in recessionary times, alcohol has been estimated to cost the UK economy £55·1 billion3 annually (amounting over 15 years to the entire UK deficit). We believe the most important message from this study is therefore the urgent need for more action on the harm caused both to the individual and to society by alcohol.

 
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