Selected media stories since the December round-up:
Policing alcohol misuse
Cliff Mann, head of an A&E doctors' group, wants police to take a “zero tolerance” approach to alcohol-related antisocial behaviour, to stop drunks clogging up emergency wards, reported the Independent. NHS hospitals and surgeries call police 175 times a day - and alcohol is the biggest cause, said the Mail Online.
Police officers are being forced to make “pragmatic decisions” about whether to arrest people for low-level crimes such as drunkenness and minor disorder, according to Inspector Ian Hanson, chairman of Greater Manchester Police Federation - Independent
Consuming seven alcoholic drinks over the course of a week could reduce the risk of heart failure, reported the Mirror and others. NHS Choices analysed the research and concluded "it is generally not recommended that people take up drinking alcohol just for any potential heart benefits".
Not long ago research also found one drink a day could be enough to increase the risk of heart disease, a different condition to heart failure. See a related piece in the Independent on 'why are we so obsessed with alcohol health effects?
More than half of the British public are unaware of the link between alcohol consumption and cancer, according to a survey from the Alcohol Health Alliance UK, reported Cancer Research UK.
Alcohol can wreak havoc on your immune system from the moment you start imbibing reported the New Scientist.
Poor sleep in teenage years could be an early warning sign for alcohol problems, illicit drug use and "regretful" sexual behaviour, research suggests. BBC News
Although drinking alcohol before bed can induce drowsiness, it is proven to disrupt the quality of rest and have negative effects on brain function the next day, according to new research reported in the Independent.
Working more than 48 hours a week makes people more likely to drink excessive levels of alcohol, suggests research reported in the Times.
Experts reckon Edinburgh is losing £86 million in economic output through “presenteeism” – when an employee’s performance is weakened by the after-effects of alcohol – as well as absenteeism, drink-related sickness, unemployment and premature death caused by alcohol. Edinburgh Evening News
Labour MP Bill Esterson is seeking better labelling of alcoholic beverages to warn pregnant women against drinking alcohol. BBC News
A group of more than 30 health leaders says exposing alcohol sponsorship to children is creating links between drinking brands and sport, calling for a ban on alcohol industry sponsorship of sport, reported Channel 4 News.
Meanwhile Labour has rowed back from banning alcohol brands from sports sponsorship and the party was forced to discard other health policies that were deemed “anti-business”, said the Times whilst Harpers gave a trade perspective.
Alternatives to alcohol
Redemption in Holborn, London - a club and pop-up bar - has opened, offering a bar and restaurant with mocktails on the menu but without a drop of alcohol available. BBC News
Professor David Nutt, in his product 'alcosynth', has cracked a chemical conundrum, which has allowed him to develop new drugs that could wean people off alcohol, while allowing them to enjoy the feeling of being “tipsy”, reported the Telegraph
Budweiser brewer AB Inbev has expressed an interest in using alcohol-free beers to win over health-conscious younger drinkers as part of wider efforts to overcome volume declines fuelled by shifts in demographics and consumer preferences. The Drum
Carlsberg’s Special Brew is about to get a makeover and could be watered down to comply with new guidelines designed to stamp out anti-social behaviour, reported the Telegraph.
Drinkers at pubs and clubs in York could face being breathalysed as part of an initiative to reduce drink related disorder. BBC News