‘Mild alcoholics’ to be given £3 pill to reduce dependence

Thousands of men and women who regularly drink just three glasses of wine a day could be given a £3 pill to help them cut back under NHS guidelines. They urge GPs to prescribe the drug nalmefene to up to 600,000 adults in England deemed to be mild alcoholics. Many may not even consider themselves heavy drinkers and simply look forward to a few glasses of wine at evenings and weekends. But guidelines from the watchdog NICE says that women who drink more than two glasses of wine a day and men over four pints could be eligible. The NHS’s safe drinking limits are 2 to 3 units a day for women and 3 to 4 for men – there are just over two units in a medium glass of wine or pint of beer. Women who drink five units a day and men seven and a half – and who struggle to get by without it – could be offered the pill. Over the last decade deaths from liver disease have soared by a fifth and there were 4,425 in 2012 – mostly in the middle age. Alcohol is also known to increase the risk of many cancers and it also raises the blood pressure which can cause stroke and heart disease. Via ‘Mild alcoholics’ to be given £3 pill to reduce dependence

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