"No safe level of drinking": UK alcohol guidelines tightened
January 9, 2016 6:53 PM   Subscribe

"No safe level of drinking": recommended drinking guidelines in the UK have been sharply tightened to no more than 14 units a week (equivalent to six pints of beer or seven glasses of wine) for both men and women, and no alcohol at all for pregnant women.

Comparative alcohol guidelines for Europe and internationally: the UK is now the seventh strictest EU country for its alcohol limit guidance and is well under the US, New Zealand, and Canada; it is one of a very few countries to set the guidelines the same for men and women.

The guidelines explained in more detail: All alcohol consumption carries some risk, the guidance says. ... Drinking above the new recommended 14 units a week is the point at which a person's risk of an early death increases by 1% - the equivalent amount of risk as driving a car.

Previously: Dryanuary and lessons learned.
posted by Dip Flash (72 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
oh, that's interesting, especially the reasoning. as someone at heightened risk of cancer, i guess i'll cut back a little.
posted by andrewcooke at 7:12 PM on January 9, 2016


Probably not incorrect as far as health goes, difficult as far as culture goes. Just smoke pot, people. It's not free of it's own risks, but it's much easier on your body.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:13 PM on January 9, 2016 [10 favorites]


Last time I smoked pot, I got some sort of respiratory infection that took like a month to go away. I am too asthmatic to smoke anything. I'm sticking with booze.

I'm confused about advice that is the same for everyone. Doesn't it matter how big you are? I can't believe that I can safely drink the same amount as my friend who is six inches taller and probably a hundred pounds heavier than me.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:19 PM on January 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


I'll read this when I have another beer.

It's worth noting that the UK has a large binge drinking problem, brought about by very odd drinking hours and a general acceptance of drinking alcohol. It's also worth nothing that the UK had a huge temperance movement that affected the UK in a very different way than it affected the US. Namely, the Temperance movement temporarily won in the US -- and then was told to go away.
posted by eriko at 7:28 PM on January 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


I should have said use pot, there are much safer methods than smoking it available now.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:31 PM on January 9, 2016 [19 favorites]


What about the research demonstrating that abstaining from alcohol has negative health impacts and that moderate drinking results in the best health outcomes? Previously. The UK guidelines seem to be saying that health risks rise with ANY amount of alcohol consumption. As a very occasional drinker, am I good or should I be drinking a glass of wine every day?
posted by Mallenroh at 7:31 PM on January 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


My guess this is to bolster Cameron's idea that parents need help raising their children by hectoring them on how they should act and should not act around them.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 7:41 PM on January 9, 2016


Is there a guideline on the safe level of living in the UK without drinking?
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 7:52 PM on January 9, 2016 [51 favorites]


Aspergillus loves to grow on weed...

Was this what John Spencer was on about?

That said, there's nothing wrong with public health advisories. They're usually based on medical evidence.

It also helps that alcohol, as a legal product, is predictable in the dosage and, as b1tr0t says, benefits from its legal staus in that way. Buying a bottle of whatever doesn't require a risk calculation of "might this contain methanol?"
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:53 PM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Last I looked into this risk of some cancers rises with any level of alcohol consumption. This may be offset by health benefits of low-level consumption - it's still kind of controversial. The "break-even" point for all-cause mortality is actually around four drinks for men but if you're not controlling for people who don't drink because they have health conditions that may be misleading.
posted by atoxyl at 7:59 PM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is there a guideline on the safe level of living in the UK without drinking?

The initiative I mentioned in my previous comment replaces the one (also Tory) that failed previously. It's called the Life Chances Strategy. The Tories redefined child poverty last year so that could add a new "moral [and] judgmental dimension".
The government says it plans to develop a “range of other measures and indicators of root causes of poverty, including family breakdown, debt and addiction”, which it will put together in a “children’s life chances strategy
The answer is that there is such a guideline but it changes when previous guidelines show up Tory policies to be the cruel and incompetent acts of economic violence that they're put in place to be.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 8:14 PM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also it's worth noting that UK "units" of alcohol are smaller than US ones - 10g instead of 17g.
posted by atoxyl at 8:22 PM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also it's worth noting that UK "units" of alcohol are smaller than US ones - 10g instead of 17g.

The "comparative" link normalizes the various recommendations by grams, because there are various national units.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:30 PM on January 9, 2016


Just smoke pot, people.

I find weed can exacerbate anxiety and other mental health issues. I'll be glad when it's legal but also glad when people stop talking it up as a risk-free alternative.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:33 PM on January 9, 2016 [71 favorites]


These comments by various scientists are helpful in interpreting the guidelines.

My lifestyle will not be changing in accordance.
posted by cromagnon at 8:41 PM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's worth noting that the UK has a large binge drinking problem

Commentators on Time Trumpet discussed the matter of overconsumption of binge, but I don't think they ever solved the problem.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 8:43 PM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


recommended drinking guidelines in the UK have been sharply tightened

Pffff, that's never going to work.
posted by Artw at 8:53 PM on January 9, 2016


no more than 14 units a week (equivalent to six pints of beer)
AHAAA HAAAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHA
posted by chococat at 8:58 PM on January 9, 2016 [19 favorites]


So I though teetotalers died earlier?
posted by leotrotsky at 9:17 PM on January 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Could someone who is much better at metric math than I am look at Wikipedias' "List of countries by alcohol consumption" and convert "litres of pure ethanol consumed per capita per year" to a comparision of weekly actual gram consumption to the weekly gram amounts suggested in guidelines for the UK and US?

Because even though I was in high school when the U.S. was supposed to go metric all I can ever remember is grams to ounce, kilometers to miles and how to convert Celsius temps to Farenheit. ( Because weed, speed and it's just fun to do "multiply by 9/5 and add 32.")
posted by ITravelMontana at 9:18 PM on January 9, 2016


for both men and women

Why is it the same for both men and women? Don't men have a higher tolerance for alcohol (on average)?
posted by John Cohen at 10:18 PM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


What about the research demonstrating that abstaining from alcohol has negative health impacts and that moderate drinking results in the best health outcomes?
Other studies such as this one suggest those benefits might just be a statistical illusion.
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 10:32 PM on January 9, 2016


This units .. it's per day, right? Right?
posted by GallonOfAlan at 11:34 PM on January 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Why is it the same for both men and women

The Chief Medical Officer says she is sure many other countries will soon follow her lead on this.
posted by Segundus at 12:53 AM on January 10, 2016


Last time I smoked pot, I got some sort of respiratory infection that took like a month to go away.

This wonderful guy I dated smoked a ton of pot daily (before and after work, every single day, lots on the weekend) and he had respiratory infections frequently. He was darling, but constantly sick. And I knew smokers who weren't constantly sick with throat infections like my darling marijuana-loving ex-honey. But maybe he didn't clean out his water pipe as well as he should have or who knows. The being sick all the time didn't deter him from using pot. And I get bad headaches from smelling skunk cannabis, which my neighbors smoke and the stench wafts in to my apt.

Then again, I get shoulder, neck aches the day after if I drink too much red wine, though. So I guess we all need to just pick our poison, try for moderation, etc.
posted by discopolo at 1:15 AM on January 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


.Then again, I get shoulder, neck aches the day after if I drink too much red wine

I'll bet it's never bothered your neighbours, though.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 1:20 AM on January 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


Advice is nice, but it would have been better if the government hadn't u-turned on alcohol minimum pricing.
posted by Vortisaur at 1:29 AM on January 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's worth noting that the UK has a large binge drinking problem

That's not entirely true; according to page 25 in this European Commision Report the proportion of respondents who report
drinking 5 or more drinks at least once a week is 44% in Ireland, 36% in Germany and Austria and 34% in the UK, Spain and Greece.

There is a narrative in the UK that we have a binge drinking problem but as with many things health-based it feels classist in origin, bundled up with a bit of oh-the-state-of-the-youth-today lamentation.
posted by fatfrank at 1:33 AM on January 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


I realize this is an odd derail, but as long as the mods are allowing it...

Ethanol is to Alcohol as THC is to Weed.

That is to say, wine, beer, and tequila all have the same active ingredient. Ethanol, which is around 12%, 6%, and 40% respectively.

Ethanol is directly metabolized into acetaldehyde which has a safety threshold limit value of 25ppm. That is to say: ethanol is toxic af, and it's fluke is that it is merely less toxic than methanol or propanol. Actually, you can get drunk off any of the three, and all are neurotoxins, but ethanol is merely the most benign.

Weed is a plant, with THC as the active ingredient. THC is safe, safe, safe. Possibly even good for many, like salicylic acid (aka willow bark) is good for many people.

The fact that the plant is mostly grown in unregulated conditions, filled with pesticides, in organizations run by people with no sense of either agriculture or chemistry is entirely unrelated to the active ingredient. No one will ever get a respiratory infection from THC. They get it from shitty, unregulated grows.

Ethanol is demonstrably bad for people, even though these guidelines are unrealistic. THC? It's definitely not bad, and there are surprising numbers of studies that suggest it is good for you, whether applied topically, orally, or via inhalation.
posted by special agent conrad uno at 1:45 AM on January 10, 2016 [18 favorites]


There is increasing evidence linking THC consumption, particularly if started young, to depression and psychoses. Here's a summary from the Royal College of Psychiatry.

Nothing is safe. Some things are just less risky than others.
posted by fatfrank at 1:56 AM on January 10, 2016 [16 favorites]


convert "litres of pure ethanol consumed per capita per year" to a comparision of weekly actual gram consumption

The density of pure ethanol is 789g/L. To convert liters per year to grams per week, multiplying by 15 gets you pretty close — good enough for back-of-the-envelope calculations, certainly.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:57 AM on January 10, 2016


It's worth noting that the UK has a large binge drinking problem

That's not entirely true; according to page 25 in this European Commision Report the proportion of respondents who report drinking 5 or more drinks at least once a week is 44% in Ireland, 36% in Germany and Austria and 34% in the UK, Spain and Greece.


The same report explicitly defines that as a high rate of binge drinking; a reasonable conclusion seems to be that all of the countries listed above have a large binge drinking problem.
posted by thetortoise at 2:13 AM on January 10, 2016 [8 favorites]


I want to cut down, but I'll just follow the far more generous French or Spanish guidelines I think. Seriously, they have science in those countries as well, right?
posted by colie at 2:17 AM on January 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


They never explain why death is bad.
posted by sidereal at 2:18 AM on January 10, 2016 [18 favorites]


what's required is a crackdown on modern life
posted by philip-random at 2:20 AM on January 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


They never explain why death is bad.

It forces you to be a teetotaler.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:29 AM on January 10, 2016 [14 favorites]




They never explain why death is bad.

It forces you to be a teetotaler.


There are many good reasons for drinking,
And one has just entered my head.
If a man cannot drink while he's living,
How the hell can he drink when he's dead?
posted by walrus at 3:29 AM on January 10, 2016 [17 favorites]


Mod note: Comment deleted. Sorry, unsolicited and alarmist "Dr Google" armchair diagnosing is a derail here.
posted by taz (staff) at 3:57 AM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


leotrotsky: "So I though teetotalers died earlier?"

No, they just wish they did.
posted by Samizdata at 6:29 AM on January 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


atoxyl: "Also it's worth noting that UK "units" of alcohol are smaller than US ones - 10g instead of 17g."

The UK unit is 10 milliliters, not 10 grams (and the US unit is 17.7 ml).

A definition in terms of volume seems much more sensible, since it lets you calculate how much you've drunk using the percentage printed on bottles or a beer tap (the percentage alcohol by volume) without needing to scale by a factor of 0.789 g/ml. The UK choice of 10 ml/unit makes calculations even easier.
posted by James Scott-Brown at 6:56 AM on January 10, 2016


I meant to include a link to Wikipedia's table of definisitons of a 'standard drink' in different countries in my previous comment.
posted by James Scott-Brown at 7:36 AM on January 10, 2016


no alcohol at all for pregnant women

I was just yesterday complaining about this stupidness in America. It is apparently spreading.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:45 AM on January 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'd like to chime in that marijuana makes me feel paranoid and very, very, angry. I wish there was a good alternative to booze that wasn't marijuana.

Get on it, science!!!
posted by josher71 at 8:04 AM on January 10, 2016


I really liked what Prof. Alan Cameron from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists from cromagnon's link had to say about that, shakesperian:
"There is no proven safe amount of alcohol a woman can drink during pregnancy. We know that heavy drinking can cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and has also been linked with an increased risk of miscarriage. Although the available evidence on low-level drinking has not yet been found to be harmful to women or their babies after 12 weeks of pregnancy, we cannot rule out the risks altogether.

“It is our responsibility as healthcare professionals to be open and honest with women, explaining both the potential risks of consuming alcohol during pregnancy and the limitations of the science, and supporting them in coming to a decision for themselves. We all deal with uncertainty in our lives on a daily basis; pregnant women are no less capable of doing so.”
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:12 AM on January 10, 2016 [12 favorites]


marijuana makes me feel paranoid

For many, this might have something to do with the fact -- for almost the last century in most of the U.S. -- one can be arrested, lose employment, uninformed social and personal judgments are made, etc.
posted by lathrop at 8:32 AM on January 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


Username aside, I, or rather, a friend of mine, swears by acid and mushrooms as good booze alternatives.

Though, if weed makes you paranoid, it might not be a good recommendation.
posted by booooooze at 9:35 AM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


A definition in terms of volume seems much more sensible, since it lets you calculate how much you've drunk using the percentage printed on bottles or a beer tap (the percentage alcohol by volume) without needing to scale by a factor of 0.789 g/ml. The UK choice of 10 ml/unit makes calculations even easier.

I wish that beer bottles were labeled by units of alcohol. Even with the acknowledgement that those units are arbitrary (eg 10 vs 17 grams in the UK and US), it's a lot easier to that math than it is to compare two bottles of different sizes and alcohol percentages.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:37 AM on January 10, 2016


I wonder what population they are imagining they are reaching with this....people who drink 8 pints a week and go, oh better cut back by 2? Someone who goes to the pub every day and has 2 pints isn't really drinking very abusively by most people's standards. But they are drinking more than 2 times the amount in these guidelines. Is that the kind of drinker who really needs to be concerned about alcohol and their health, or is it better to try to reach the 6 pints a day set? Maybe poke them with the clue bat, if possible.
posted by thelonius at 9:37 AM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Are there really people who see alcohol and pot as exactly the same with the same effects? Two or three beers in a social setting and I'm feeling damn good, ready to mix and mingle and I'm a celebrity in my brain. Two or three hits of a joint and I'm like "shit I'm tired, also why can't I form words anymore" and I'm ready to go home and watch Netflix for 2 hours as I fade to sleep. Weed is dope but yeesh you people who smoke pot and then go out to a party, I seriously don't know how you do it. Are there certain sativa strains I can look for that will emulate the effects of booze?
posted by windbox at 9:47 AM on January 10, 2016


Are there really people who see alcohol and pot as exactly the same with the same effects?

No.
posted by yesster at 10:07 AM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thelonius, my guess is official guidelines like this probably share the same audience as nutritional guidelines. The guy who's having a couple beers most evenings sees this, and now it's an area where changing his behavior might improve health, just like cutting back on red meat or refined sugar, or getting a little more exercise. Maybe he takes action on this or maybe he doesn't, but he's got the information. In theory, if many moderate drinkers adjust slightly to follow the new guidelines, there's a marginal improvement in the health of a great many people.

This doesn't help the six pints a day set but of course it doesn't in any way preclude you from trying to reach them with a different message either.
posted by mark k at 10:07 AM on January 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


...no more than 14 units a week (equivalent to six pints of beer)...

So - what's 6 pints of vodka get you?
posted by symbioid at 10:55 AM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


I wish that beer bottles were labeled by units of alcohol

In the UK there is what is apparently a voluntary scheme to do that very thing. Anecdotally speaking, it certainly appears to be prevalent - all of the beer, cider, and wine bottles that I have in the house (that were bottled in the UK) quote the number of units on the label. The gin doesn't so perhaps spirits are exempt? Or else Martin Miller's a maverick that don't play by nobody else's rules.
posted by MUD at 11:00 AM on January 10, 2016


Gin makes a man mean.
posted by Artw at 11:36 AM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


I have one gin in my cupboard with total units listed (Broker's) and one without (Tarquin's). So obviously, Brummie ginmakers aren't mean, but Cornish and Cockney ones are.
posted by ambrosen at 11:38 AM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm well aware ethanol is harmful, but my consumption is still several times the recommended level in the article. For me it's definitely a matter of self-medication. It's a stupid behavior pattern (depressed -> self medicate with a depressant) but the sad state of modern psychiatry means it's easy to just kinda... give up. (I ended up on anti-psychotics for a period last year. After having an allergic reaction to the first-line med, I got moved to the fallback, which can cause diabetes. Yes, this is completely insane. And my health is definitely worse after a period of that than it was before.)

So yeah. From a public health standpoint recommending low-to-zero alcohol consumption is definitely a good idea, and I'm hoping my own consumption is low-to-zero by the middle of the year, but to all the self-medicators out there... I feel ya.
posted by iffthen at 11:52 AM on January 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


One of the great benefits of legalization is that it turns out that Aspergillus loves to grow on weed, and the retail stuff in Washington state is screened for Aspergillus now.

I'm very allergic to Aspergillus (Thanks, allergy testing results). Maybe this explains why, over the years, I sometimes get shooting pains in my sinuses when someone is smoking weed. It's been frustrating that it isn't consistent because I'm sure people have thought it was all in my head. This has been really nice to learn today.
posted by stray thoughts at 12:05 PM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Speaking in purely relative terms, ethanol is amazingly nontoxic. There are very few orally bioavailable chemicals that you can consume in 16 gram quantities without getting ill. It's actually less toxic gram-for-gram than salt (LD50 = 3g/kg for sodium vs. 7g/kg for ethanol). Of course, that doesn't make it advisable to consume it in large amounts.

Previous studies have shown that moderate alcohol intake has cardiovascular benefits compared to heavy drinking and abstinence. The question is whether the effects are generalizable to the population as a whole, and whether they outweigh the increased risk of cancer. The UK Department of Health has voted no. It will be interesting to see if other countries follow suit.
posted by dephlogisticated at 1:10 PM on January 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Chief Medical Officer for England, Dame Sally Davies, said: "I want pregnant women to be very clear that they should avoid alcohol as a precaution. Although the risk of harm to the baby is low if they have drunk small amounts of alcohol before becoming aware of the pregnancy, there is no 'safe' level of alcohol to drink when you are pregnant."

So as long as you don't know you're pregnant, okay.
posted by Hypatia at 2:02 PM on January 10, 2016


Eh, that's pretty standard language for not freaking people out if they have a drink before they know they're pregnant.
posted by Artw at 2:10 PM on January 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm confused about advice that is the same for everyone. Doesn't it matter how big you are? I can't believe that I can safely drink the same amount as my friend who is six inches taller and probably a hundred pounds heavier than me.

Do you also believe that a man can smoke twice as many cigarettes as a woman with the same level of risk?* This isn't about your mass regulating your blood alcohol content for any particular drinking incident. It's about total risk of death over the course of your life, including from cancer.

*Yes, I'm aware that women appear to be more susceptible to smoking-related carcinogens than men. That's an argument for women to be particularly careful about smoking, not for men to say 'herp derp I can smoke twice as much!'
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:55 PM on January 10, 2016


So - what's 6 pints of vodka get you?

A stomach pump.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:21 PM on January 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


My cousin got kidney stones from drinking too many kale smoothies. Middle path, people.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:29 PM on January 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


Why is it the same for both men and women?

The Chief Medical Officer says she is sure many other countries will soon follow her lead on this.


So that women get drunker than men?
posted by John Cohen at 10:08 PM on January 10, 2016


obiwanwasabi: "I'm confused about advice that is the same for everyone. Doesn't it matter how big you are? I can't believe that I can safely drink the same amount as my friend who is six inches taller and probably a hundred pounds heavier than me.

Do you also believe that a man can smoke twice as many cigarettes as a woman with the same level of risk?* This isn't about your mass regulating your blood alcohol content for any particular drinking incident. It's about total risk of death over the course of your life, including from cancer.

*Yes, I'm aware that women appear to be more susceptible to smoking-related carcinogens than men. That's an argument for women to be particularly careful about smoking, not for men to say 'herp derp I can smoke twice as much!'
"

I don't worry about that. I only buy the packs of smokes that mention things like low birth rate and such as side effects. I'm an outie, so they don't apply!
posted by Samizdata at 10:40 PM on January 10, 2016


THC is safe, safe, safe. Possibly even good for many

I thought I learned somewhere (not search now because I'm at work) that without the canabinoid, THC has can pretty scary (to the high person) psychological effects, i.e. paranoia, anxiety, depression, and that CBD helps to minimize the negative effects of THC.
posted by LizBoBiz at 7:31 AM on January 11, 2016


A world without booze AND Bowie? Fuck. That.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 7:47 AM on January 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


Chief Medical Officer for England, Dame Sally Davies, said: "I want pregnant women to be very clear that they should avoid alcohol as a precaution. Although the risk of harm to the baby is low if they have drunk small amounts of alcohol before becoming aware of the pregnancy, there is no 'safe' level of alcohol to drink when you are pregnant."

This makes me irrationally annoyed (I get it's probably just my hangup). I mean, it's not a baby, right? Is the language a concious strategy to get women to good care of themselves while pregnant? Or maybe just habit people have? Because I thought we had mostly come to a consensus about the whole foetuses not being babies thing.

When my wife was pregnant everything was "the baby": "Baby's looking good!", "Do you hear the baby's heartbeat?" Then, during an ultrasound some measurements were a bit unusual and the nurses/doctors stopped saying "baby". We had an amniocentesis done to check for possible indications of Down Syndrome in "the foetus". When we got the results, good news, it was a baby again.
posted by ODiV at 10:39 AM on January 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


windbox: you people who smoke pot and then go out to a party, I seriously don't know how you do it. Are there certain sativa strains I can look for that will emulate the effects of booze?

I have had the opportunity to witness different strains having remarkably different effects on those who partook.

Specifically, I've had the opportunity observe numerous voluntary subjects consume two different strains (sold as Black Widow and Purple Haze) that came from 4 plants (two of each sort) that were grown simultaneously indoors in the same pot in a small enclosure (shower cabinet converted to mini grow room).

The 'experiment' was conducted over a period of several months and included around 20 voluntary subjects, and the results were remarkably consistent.

The Black Widow was a major depressant, and the Purple Haze was, comparatively, an upper whose effects reminded me of a long drink containing liquor, sugar and caffeine. After the Black Widow went around the room, everyone got pretty quiet and super chill. That was nice for maybe half an hour, after which it started to get boring. At this point, the Purple Haze was passed around. Everyone would liven up a bit and start talking, joking and laughing more. And so it went, back and forth, until everyone had had enough of both for the night.

Many long and comfortable evenings were spent switching back and forth between the two states.

On nights when we decided to venture forth and leave the apartment, the choice was clear -- Purple Haze it was, and it was good.

Everyone who partook -- even those who've cut their consumption way back in the meantime -- still talks of those times with a sense of fond nostalgia.
posted by syzygy at 4:54 AM on January 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


There are very few orally bioavailable chemicals that you can consume in 16 gram quantities without getting ill.

Of course, that also means that ethanol is a phenomenally weak drug as well. Meaning many people will consume upwards of a hundred grams (around 7 standard drinks) in a single night, thus very much loading up their liver.
posted by telstar at 8:46 AM on January 13, 2016


It frustrates me that there is an underlying presumption in some of the comments from doctors and scientists that people make decisions primarily on health effects.
Ethanol has benefits besides a possible reduction in heart disease, it makes you feel nice, it reduces inhibitions, and it has important cultural ties (pop the champagne!).
I certainly understand there must be a small cohort of people that spend all day living their life by risk analysis, but most people eat a donut because it is immediately tasty, take a beer after work for social reasons, drive rather than walk because it is raining, or one of a million other real word reasons that are not addressed by advice that says if you exceed this rate, you will encounter a 1% risk of dying from alcohol relate causes.
posted by bystander at 12:05 AM on January 14, 2016


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