BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Scotland  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 12 November, 2002, 09:34 GMT
Counting the toll of binge drinking
Pub - generic picture
More women are drinking above recommended limits
An area of Glasgow has the world's highest incidence of a rare type of alcohol-related brain damage, it has emerged.

Korsakov's syndrome is an irreversible condition which causes patients to lose their short-term memory.

The high prevalence of the condition in the east end of Glasgow is highlighted in BBC Scotland's Frontline programme.

Beer glasses
Females are catching up in the drinking stakes
It also highlights concerns over the amount of binge drinking by young women north of the border.

Recent studies have found that the west coast has more cases of Korsakov's syndrome than anywhere else in the world.

The problem is not brought on by drinking, but by stopping suddenly.

The sufferer's body is unable to cope and needs a course of vitamins to see it through the detox period.

However, while 400 people are diagnosed every year in Scotland there are only 20 beds devoted to caring for the sufferers.

Increasing awareness

The Scottish Executive says that a group of experts is assessing the extent of the problem.

It also hopes to prevent more cases of the disease by increasing awareness.

The documentary examines the steady rise in alcohol-related injuries, psychiatric conditions, cirrhosis, cancer, and brain disease in Scotland.


If we do nothing now we will just see the problem spin out of control

Dr Andrew Fraser
Deputy chief medical officer
It says that one in four young Scottish women are drinking more than the recommended weekly limit of 14 units of alcohol.

This figure has almost doubled in the last decade.

Dr Moira Plant, from the University of the West of England, said that binge drinking was still relatively new for young women.

"I think it is becoming a cause for concern now," she said.

Professor Gerald Hastings, of Strathclyde University, said women had become much freer over the last generation.

"Marriage has been delayed, they're getting much more into the workforce, they've got much more equal opportunities.

Out of control

"All wonderful things, all to be applauded. But alcohol is increasingly being promoted to fill some of the needs that come with that, so it's been equated with independence, with freedom, with equality with men," he said.

Scotland's deputy chief medical officer, Dr Andrew Fraser, says: "I think we have to re-learn our relationship with alcohol.

"If we do nothing now we will just see the problem spin out of control.

"Alcohol will take control of many aspects of our lives."

Scots on the Rocks will be screened at 2235 GMT on Tuesday.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Laura Maxwell reports
"We've all been there, a trip to the pub for a quick drink often turns into two and then three"
See also:

12 Nov 02 | Scotland
06 Nov 02 | Scotland
01 Oct 02 | Scotland
16 Apr 02 | Health
18 Mar 02 | Scotland
18 Jan 02 | Scotland
08 Apr 02 | Health
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Scotland stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Scotland stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes