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Expert reaction: "Alcohol has no safe level"

Posted on 24 August 2018

An expert in substance abuse reacts to a new study published in the Lancet that suggests there is no safe level of alcohol consumption for the one in three people who drink alcohol worldwide.

The study suggests that Alcohol is associated with 2.8 million deaths each year worldwide.

Ian Hamilton, from the Department of Health Sciences, said: “These results confirm that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption, this will be uncomfortable reading for many people who believe that their moderate use of alcohol is not a risk to their health.

“This is a belief that the alcohol industry has been keen to promote over recent years but is clearly contradicted by this research.

“So although the evidence suggests moderate drinking might reduce certain health problems, overall alcohol increases your risk of dying prematurely or developing serious health problems.

"However, we also have to consider that there’s no safe level for a lot of things in life - riding a bike or driving a car for example; they all carry risks.

"This research appears to show an alarming risk to health, including cancer and liver problems, throughout your life, but you have to put that risk in proportion to everything else. If 25,000 moderate drinkers were to have a bottle of gin a month, for example, one of them would suffer a serious health problem throughout their life." 

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