“At least 500,000 UK children aged 11–15 get drunk every month and the number has doubled since 1990. It is a middle class obsession, the idea that younger children should be introduced to alcohol with an occasional glass of wine diluted with water or equivalent. There is no evidence to support the idea that you should wean children on to alcohol at an early age. The evidence shows that the earlier children are introduced to alcohol, the more likely they are to get a taste for it and become binge drinkers as teenagers and heavy drinkers as adults”
Sir Liam Donaldson, Chief Medical Officer, UK, December 2009.
Alcohol is a neurotoxin that can poison your brain and disrupt your hormonal balance. Heavy drinkers face much higher risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, cirrhosis of the liver and cancer of the mouth, colon, pancreas, lungs, larynx, oesophagus and liver. This is not even taking into account the fact that alcohol is extremely acidic and causes deficiencies of all the major vitamins, minerals, hydrochloric acid, digestive enzymes and essential fatty acids.
Alcohol = acetaldehyde = DNA damage
The main problem with alcohol and human DNA is ethanol oxidation, giving us the toxic metabolite by-product, acetaldehyde. Alcohol delivers ethanol, acetaldehyde, free radicals and peroxides to the body via the bloodstream. British scientists have confirmed that alcohol does more damage to society than any other drug — legal or illegal. The scientists rated alcohol the most harmful overall and almost three times as harmful as cocaine.3 Researchers have now created new techniques and, combined with old ones, they have developed a clear and comprehensive picture of alcohol’s influence on health, social life, and economics.4
It is not a pretty picture at all. The incredible increase in harm to young people from alcohol across the world over the last 20 years is so significant that WHO has passed multiple resolutions to try to bring awareness to the genuine problem (for example, the 2010 World Health Assembly’s Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol).
Most governments actively shy away from this problem, as they once did with cigarette smoking.
Alcohol kills someone every ten seconds
- By the time you have read this sentence, another two or three people have died. It is getting worse daily, all over the globe.
- Alcohol is the number one global cause of death for men aged 15–24.
- One person is dying from alcohol about every ten seconds.
- Alcohol causes at least one in 20 deaths globally every year.
- This is over 6% of all deaths (measured conservatively).
- Alcohol causes around 13% of all cancer deaths.
- Over 3.3 million people were killed by alcohol in 2013 (this number is already estimated to be over 5.5 million by many experts as alcohol is not listed on death certificates in many countries around the world).
- Alcohol is the number one cause of death in Eastern Europe, most of Latin America and southern sub-Saharan Africa.
- Alcohol is the prime driver in liver disease, liver cancer and cirrhosis deaths.
- Alcohol abuse also makes people more susceptible to many serious diseases, including HIV and tuberculosis.
- Binge drinking is especially damaging to health, with 16% of the world’s drinkers abusing alcohol to excess.
- On average, every person above the age of 15 worldwide drinks 6.2 litres of pure alcohol in a year.
- Counting only those who drink, that rises to 17 litres of pure alcohol each year.
- Nearly half of all adults worldwide have never touched alcohol.5
Jason wishes to deeply thank, acknowledge and recognise the effort and contribution that the PIF Foundation has provided on a voluntary basis since 2014, as we educated, motivated and inspired change that helps transform the health, vitality and longevity of people all over the world.