Upswing In UK’s Alcohol Use Causes Concern

Articles, International, United Kingdom

Upswing-In-UKs-Alcohol-Use-Causes-ConcernRecent statistics showing an increased rate of alcohol-related hospital admissions in the United Kingdom, particularly among women, indicates an ongoing international need to address drug and alcohol abuse. As a respected worldwide leader for alcohol addiction treatment, DARA Thailand is prepared to provide solutions for the UK’s chronic drink problem. A recent article posted on Daily reports that England’s public health officials are alarmed by a “deeply worrying” trend in alcohol addiction, particularly among women. A 2.1 percent rise in female patients compares with .7 percent rise for men over a yearlong period. Hospital admissions for alcohol-related illnesses include more middle-aged women and young mothers than ever before.

Women are drinking much more than they used to, particularly wine in the evening, and that quantity of drinking is causing significant problems in terms of liver disease and other serious conditions,” said Dr. Niall Campbell, consultant psychiatrist at the Priory Hospital in London. “Women are literally dying for a drink, and it is a national pattern.”

DARA Thailand Serves International Clients

Our internationally certified therapists at DARA Thailand design personalized treatment plans for each individual who comes to us from near or far. We respect cultural norms, while at the same time we realize that addiction knows no geographic, social, ethnic, economic, gender or age boundaries. We have served clients from more than 50 countries to date at our rehab location in Koh Chang. At Koh Chang, our treatment uses cognitive behavioral therapy as its primary focus. Because of the intensive professional training our counselors receive, we specialize in dual diagnosis treatment for mental health issues that co-exist with substance addiction. DARA Thailand makes it a point to keep informed about drug and alcohol issues around the world, such as the alcohol abuse crisis in the United Kingdom. As the leading international destination for addiction treatment, we welcome all individuals seeking recovery solutions.

If you, or someone you care about, needs help for a drug or alcohol addiction,
contact us at 1-888-457-3518 US, 0-808-120-3633 UK or 1-800-990-523 AU.
We’re here to help you take that first important step.

Drug Use in the UK on the Rise

United Kingdom

Drug Use in the UK on the RiseNo surprise that the world is shrinking, and the addiction riptide is worldwide. Most recent stats: drug use in the UK is on the rise. A recent government-sponsored survey in the United Kingdom shows drug use in both England and Wales is on the rise. This change is disturbing, because in the last 14 years there was a slow, steady and hope-inducing decrease in the use of illicit drugs by UK citizens between the ages of 16 and 59, but in the last year alone this is an increase in 270,009 people, bringing the total to 2.7 million!

Who Is Using?

Over 180,000 of these new illicit drug users are between the ages of 16 and 24. Some 3% of the adults responding to the survey use illicit drugs more than once a month. Where are the English and the Welsh getting their drugs? Over 57% get them from someone they know, such as a friend or coworker. Another 25% go directly to a drug dealer, and 4% get drugs from a relative. Most respondents to this survey on drug use in the UK say they use drugs at home, or someone else’s home. A quarter takes drugs at club, pubs or parties.

The drugs that seem to be on the rise, in light of what was presented by the survey are:

  • Cocaine
  • Ecstasy
  • LSD
  • Ketamine

New “Legal” Drug Use in the UK

Nitrous oxide, also called laughing gas, is frequently found at fairs or festivals in the UK. A legal loophole allows this gas to be sold and distributed in garden variety birthday balloons. While teens and young adults see this as an easy way to get a legal buzz, deaths related to drowning or using other drugs with nitrous oxide are increasingly being identified.

Is there an upside in the trends related to drug use in the UK? Drug deaths continue to drop, and the number of individuals seeking help is increasing.

If you, or someone you care about, needs help for a drug or alcohol addiction,
contact us at +1 855 300 0594 US, +44 80 8168 7072 UK or +61 1800 583 325 AU.
We’re here to help you take that first important step.

Counterfeit Drugs a Danger in Scotland

Alternative Treatment, Education, United Kingdom

Counterfeit Drugs a Danger in ScotlandThe world of drugs—from an enforcement point of view as well as from a consumer’s—is complicated enough without the added wrinkle of fake drugs. Heroin and cocaine have always been adulterated; the profit motive that facilitates distribution guarantees that these drugs—in powder form—will be “stepped on” at every level between manufacture and consumption.

Fake ecstasy is now intruding on the Scots club scene, keeping authorities on their toes as they strive to keep up with the branding schemes that dealers come up with to persuade users that “this time it will be different” and that they will get the real deal. Ecstasy, rebranded (in the US) as Mollie after users finally soured on the possibility of acquiring a legitimate version of the product, is—or should  be—MDMA, a member of the amphetamine class of stimulants. In its pure version, it produces euphoria and a sense of intimacy with others (especially if they too are under its influence). It has been popular as a dance-club drug for several decades.

The fake ecstasy coming into Scotland is mainly manufactured in China, where criminal gangs have chemists in labs of varying levels of sophistication manufacture drugs—many of them legal—that they then blend in order to mimic the MDMA effect. One especially dangerous substitute is PMA, another drug in the amphetamine class.

There is some clinical indication that repeated use of even pure MDMA leads to increased rates of depression and anxiety. Chronic users may perform poorly in cognitive or memory tests. For chronic users, withdrawal symptoms include fatigue, concentration problems, and loss of appetite, as well as cravings for the drug.

There are no pharmaceutical treatments for ecstasy abuse, but treatment is available. As with any drug, the user has to come to a point, whether by self-realization or by intervention, at which he or she realizes that they can’t continue, can’t moderate, and can’t stop on their own. With this as a starting point, modern treatment methods can be successful.

Is the War on Drugs Obsolete?

United Kingdom, United States

(The following statistics are from the US; however, policies and their outcomes in the UK are in alignment with those of the US in this epic saga of unintended consequences.)

Is the War on Drugs Obsolete?According to the Drug Policy Alliance,

  • The US spends over fifty-one billion dollars each year in the War on Drugs.
  • Potential tax revenue if drugs were taxed at rates similar to those on alcohol and cigarettes is estimated to be over forty-five billion dollars.
  • One and a half million people were arrested in the US in 2012 for non-violent drugs charges.
  • Two and a quarter million people were in US prisons or jails in 2012—or just under 1 person per hundred, the highest rate in the world.
  • Over half a million people were arrested in 2012 on marijuana charges.
  • Over thirty-eight thousand people died from drug overdose in 2012.
  • Syringe sharing is estimated to be responsible for over thirty-three percent of AIDS cases.

If we add the enforcement expenditures (fifty-one billion) to the potential tax revenue (forty-five billion), we get nearly one hundred billion dollars that could be directed toward treatment and prevention.

Furthermore, if we were to change policy,

  • Criminals would not be able to profit from the drug market.
  • Violence engendered by drug profits would be eliminated.
  • Money spent by arrested users on bail, lawyers, and fines could circulate more effectively in the economy.
  • Overdoses could be minimized with harm-prevention strategies.
  • The spread of HIV through contaminated needles would be minimized.
  • Criminal behavior among drug users would be reduced
  • Marginalization of drug users—recreational as well as problematic—would cease, and users could be channeled back to productivity.

US_incarceration_rate_timelineConsider this common scenario: A male in his early twenties, employed but barely getting by, gets arrested for marijuana. His car gets towed. He loses days at work. He has to post bail. If he gets processed into a county jail, especially on a weekend, his vehicle impound can exceed $500. If he can’t bail the car out, he loses it. The experience can derail a young life. For minorities, this scenario is even more common.

Other countries, (for example, Columbia) are re-examining their drug policies. There is absolutely no evidence to support the supposition that maintaining current policy is cost-effective, morally correct, or leading toward an eventual solution. Fearmongering by politicians and opposition by those with a vested interest in the status quo (drug enforcement beaurocracies, prison guard unions, alcohol industry, and others) have propped up the failing War on Drugs for far too long.

A Deadly Game of One-Upmanship

Australia, United Kingdom

NekNomination- A Deadly Game of One-Upmanship

Drinking games go back as far as ancient Greece and China. The games usually fall into one of a number of categories:

  • Speed—how much alcohol can be consumed in a certain period of time (includes games such as beer bong, flippy cup, shotgunning, and boat races)
  • Endurance—simple competitions to out-drink other players. Sometimes the goal is to see who can remain standing the longest (boot of beer, power hour,  keg stand)
  • Skill—party and bar games that focus on an act of skill. In some games, the loser is required to drink a predetermined amount; in others, the winner (beer pong, beer darts, polish horseshoes, etc.)

There are also thinking games, cards, dice, and other competitions, all with alcohol involved.

All these can, as a group, range from the benign to the ridiculous. A friendly game of darts over beers can be innocent enough; competitive drinking for the sake of speed or volume can be dangerous, even lethal.

The latest and most alarming incarnation of the drinking game is Neknomination.

The point to this game is to chug beer or alcohol and video the event; then, the video is posted on social media and others are dared to outdo it and then post their performance, adding the same dare. This leads to a sort of networked, viral drinking competition where the only possible outcome is that one-upmanship drastically overrides common sense. In addition to just drinking, players have ramped up the competition by jumping off bridges, doing motorcycle stunts, and performing other risky acts.

Neknomination-related deaths have been reported in Australia, Ireland, and the UK.

One teen in Ireland died after drinking and jumping into a river, another after mixing white wine, vodka, whiskey, and beer. A ten-year-old boy in the UK became violently ill after participating in Neknomination.

This trend clearly requires a counterforce.


One Facebook community, called Ban-Neknomination, calls attention to the dangers—and victims—of the game.

Perhaps social media, the platform upon which Neknomination depends, will provide that counterforce by means of education and positive peer pressure.