Notes and cuttings mostly related to Alcohol Companion by Phil Cain. Mostly tweeted and posted on Facebook. Please feel free to share this resource.

[cutting] French music festival bans all alcohol one-step | The Connexion

Although banning alcohol is rare at such events, L’arbre qui marche [the walking tree, last weekend]  is not the only non-alcohol festival in France; in Airvault in Deux-Sèvres, the 17-year-old ‘Rêve de l’Aborigène’ festival, which seeks to celebrate the music of Australian indigenous people, has banned alcohol in solidarity to the indigenous community itself. 


[cutting] Minorities, the elderly and women are drinking much more alcohol | Economist

A focus on opioids has eclipsed the damage caused by an even deadlier, more common substance. Between 2006 and 2010, an average of 106,765 Americans died each year from alcohol-related causes such as liver disease, alcohol poisoning and drunk driving—more than twice the number of overdoses from all drugs and more than triple the number of opioid overdoses in 2015.


[cutting] I’ve quit drinking, and I’m happy to talk about it, but Britain still doesn’t want to | Prospect Magazine

I am not arguing for a new prohibitionist movement. It is just that having lived first inside and outside the pub, I have learned that we are too tolerant of alcoholism and too indifferent to the suffering it brings not just to alcoholics but to those who must endure their company.--Nick Cohen, columnist


[cutting/comment] Study: One in eight American adults are alcoholics | Washington Post

One in eight American adults, or 12.7% t of the U.S. population, now meets diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorder, according to the study. … The study found that rates of alcoholism were higher among men (16.7%), Native Americans (16.6%), people below the poverty threshold (14.3%) ….  Nearly 1 in 4 adults under age 30 (23.4%) met the diagnostic criteria for alcoholism.


Note: As the story points out another study found alcohol use disorder to be around half as common and falling, rather than rising, perhaps because of a less sensitive survey. Whether it is 14m people or closer to 30m people, or something in between, it is still a very large number. ■

Austrian Jakobsgold alcohol-free organic enters pop chart

Your holidaying correspondent, though no connoisseur, could not help thinking this Austrian organic alcohol free beer has something a bit extra to it. And people with far more refined palates seem to agree, so it has been added to Alcohol Companion’s Top of the Pops, a highly unscientific list of drinkable alcohol free beers, wines and spirits. It does not seem to be available outside Austria at the moment, although perhaps it is in Japan. ■

Drinking alcohol is no way to avoid dementia |

We should not imagine drinking alcohol will ward off dementia, with firm evidence that drinking more than a little can have the opposite effect and no reliable evidence a little is any better than none at all.

A study this week reaffirmed accepted medical guidance that nobody should drink alcohol as a dementia remedy, nevertheless headlines—like “Cheers! Big drinkers may live longer”—suggested otherwise. It also found lower dementia rates among low-level drinkers than among non-drinkers.

Dr James Pickett

But the study has a problem common to many in the field, says Dr James Pickett, head of research at the Alzheimer’s Society (pictured): the category of “non-drinkers” may include people who stopped drinking because of poor health.

This means that illnesses, including dementia, may be found more often among people in the “non-drinker” category, but not because they do not drink.

“To further understand how not drinking affects the brain when compared to moderate and excessive drinking, we need more studies that separate out the never-drinkers from people who have given up alcohol,” says Dr Pickett.

“People should not start drinking alcohol as a means to protect against dementia and those who do drink should stay within the guidelines recommended by the NHS.”

The weekly UK NHS guideline maximum is 14 units, around five pints (2.5 litres) of lager. ■

[cutting/comment] Alcohol intake and cognitively healthy longevity in community-dwelling adults | The Rancho Bernardo Study, IOS Press

This study found a positive association between moderate alcohol intake and cognitively healthy longevity, an association that was greatest in individuals with a regular, moderate drinking pattern.  … It is not appropriate to recommend that abstainers initiate drinking.


Note: A great deal of the coverage of this paper is misleading. The take-home fact is often lost is that, as the study itself says, no doctor would advise we start drinking alcohol to guard against dementia in our old age. Drinking more than a small amount of alcohol is associated with a significantly higher risk of dementia, as well as many other problems, including having memory, cognitive and emotional difficulties well before we get old. Drinking a small amount, meanwhile, significantly increases our chances of drinking more than a small amount, particularly in environments where it is common. The Alzheimer’s Society sifts through the evidence of alcohol and dementia here and outlines the kinds of brain damage and malfunction heavy drinking can cause here. ■

[cutting] Supreme Court asks Bihar liquor manufacturers to destroy their old stock of alcohol after July 31 |

The Supreme Court on Monday said the old stock of alcohol in Bihar will have to be destroyed after July 31, reported PTI. The court refused to extend the deadline for liquor manufacturers to shift their remaining stock outside the state. Bihar was declared a dry state in April 2016.


[cutting] Heineken brews profits worldwide as non-alcoholic beer proves popular in Europe | Belfast Telegraph

Heineken 0.0, a new zero-alcohol beer, proved a bright spot for the business as strong demand in Spain, Netherlands, Poland and Austria underpinned double-digit growth in low and non-alcohol beer across Europe.



[cutting] Over 4,000 UK troops have had alcohol abuse problems flagged in past three years | The Sun

More than 4,000 troops have had alcohol abuse problems flagged on their military records in three years. …The revelation comes after alcohol screening and advice for troops during dental visits was announced.