Alcohol abuse

Fat bastards could lose benefits in UK, what a great policy

David Cameron says UK taxpayers shouldn’t have to “fund the benefits” of fatties or drug and alcohol addicts who refuse treatment that could help them get back into employment.

Obese people could have their benefits stripped if they refuse treatment in a bid to ensure they can lead a “fulfilling life”, David Cameron has said.

A Conservative government will attempt to ensure that tens of thousands of people who claim welfare on the grounds of obesity, drug or alcohol addiction are “incentivised” to go back to work, the Prime Minister said.

Mr Cameron said that taxpayers should no longer “fund the benefits” of people who refuse to accept the treatment that could help them get back into employment.

He has asked Professor Dame Carol Black, a senior Government adviser of health, to conduct a review into how best to get people with treatable conditions back into work.

The review will focus on how to incentivise the people to get back to work and consider whether their benefits should be stopped if they refuse treatment.

Currently, almost 100,000 people are claiming sickness benefits because they say they are suffering from conditions such as drug or alcohol addiction, or obesity.

However, there is no requirement for such people to undertake treatment, meaning it is possible to claim without making efforts at recovery.

Of the 2.5 million claiming sickness benefits, around 1.5 million have been claiming for more than 5 years.  Read more »

BG2: Addictions

I was going to write about the health benefits of fasting, but something else has triggered this article. It is on alcoholism, but addictions in general.

To this day, I still tell people that I was never an alcoholic. Yes, I loved to drink; yes, I would have experienced “blackout” nights more times than I could count, but I still stopped, without the help of AA, so therefore, I’m not an alcoholic.

I am only now starting to understand that at the age of 27 I had been drinking heavily for seven years and that drinking was causing me to have panic attacks and lose friends. Worst of all it was jeopardising my relationship with my boyfriend – the most important person in my life.

I will never forget the feeling I experienced on February 9, 2014, the day I took my last drink. I was on my third day of a three-day bender and I was feeling utterly exhausted and powerless. I was sick and tired of being “that girl” who drank too much at work functions, sick and tired of waking up without my phone and having no idea what happened the night before, sick and tired of embarrassing my friends, family and loved ones. Most of all, I was sick and tired of my attempts at drinking in moderation, which usually resulted in my biggest nights out.

Enough was enough. I made the decision, not one drop of alcohol was ever going to pass my lips again.

What followed were 9 months of a battle of wills between her body and her willpower.   Read more »

HPA wowsers at it again

The Taxpayers’ Union have released documents yesterday showing the wowsers over at the Health Promotions Agency have spent up $1.2 million on their batshit crazy No Beersies campaign.

“The Taxpayers’ Union had feedback that the ‘Not Beersies’ ads were making people thirsty for beer. Some participants in the Agency’s own focus groups said the same – that the ads encouraged drinking or were confusing.”

And encouraging kids to have a few handles too by the looks of this picture.

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“The documents show that the campaign had the least positive impact on entrenched, high-risk drinkers, and instead targets those least likely to face harm from alcohol consumption. The HPA spent at least $1.2 million on the campaign, but has refused to say how much taxpayers paid in advertising agency fees. It also shows that the HPA conducts no cost benefit analysis on its campaign.

Read more »

Someone actually researched getting birds pissed

I’m surprised this wasn’t funded by Callaghan Innovation, it seems the sort of thing they like funding…or perhaps it is more the Marsden Fund’s bag.

Anyway, someone has actually researched getting birds pissed.

Here was me thinking all it took was a few glasses of bubbles.

Researchers conduct all sorts of strange experiments in the name of science, from studying the slipperiness of banana peels to looking at how dogs orient their bodies when they poop.

And now, in the latest example of strange science, researchers at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland got some finches drunk and watched what happened.

Their main finding? Like drunk humans, boozed-up birds slur their “speech.”

For the study, the researchers gave grape juice to one group of zebra finches and an alcoholic juice cocktail to another group. The cocktail-quaffing finches became somewhat inebriated, with blood alcohol levels of 0.05 percent to 0.08 percent, according to NPR.   Read more »

The drink takes its toll?

Moments after the Clown of Campbells Bay, Andrew Williams, is kicked into touch, Winston starts to bang on about binge drinking.

Mere coincidence or a telling sign?

Being drunk in a public place will be an offence if NZ First has its way after the election.

Party leader Winston Peters also wants more police on the beat.

He says the government hasn’t increased the police budget in six years despite population increases.

“They went further in the last budget and actually took $40 million from the police budget,” he told a public meeting on Wednesday.

“That’s why they go to extraordinary lengths to convince you crime is dropping.”  Read more »

Face of the day

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Weed, alcohol and tobacco – One of these things is not like the others

Here in New Zealand we have the health jihadists attempting get a plain packaging law on tobacco through parliament. Contemporaneously other health jihadists are trying to apply the same logic to products that contain sugar.

California is moving already to force warning labels on soft drinks…and has one of the most restrictive anti-smoking regimes in the world.

Australia has forced plain packaging of tobacco and is now being sued for the pleasure.

The UK is attempting to ram through plain packaging legislation at the same time.

We also have a ban on advertising, and have removed all displays from stores.

Which is all very incongruent when you look at two other products.

Alcohol and Cannabis.

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Fundraising with a bottle of nasty Whisky washed down with a glass of hypocrisy

This is how the Labour party fundraises in South Auckland…chucking coins at a bottle of nasty whisky.

So what, I hear you say?  Read more »

Eric Crampton on “public health costs” for sin products like tobacco, sugar, etc

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There is an increasing propensity for health campaigns and their idiot mouthpieces in the media like Duncan Garner to talk about the increasing public health costs of this or that.

The latest target is sugar…but before that we had tobacco and to a certain extent alcohol.

Of course the health busybodies and troughers like to quote massive numbers that they generally fetched from their rectal cavity. No one ever queries how those numbers are derived or justified, they are accepted carte-blanche and then regurgitated as fact.

Eric Crampton however does push back on this.

Health care takes up an increasing part of government budgets due to an expansion in the proportion of basic healthcare covered by governments rather than privately, due to demographic change, and due to increased cost of dealing with those illnesses that were once untreatable. Health budgets are then really salient. Voters are always looking for no-cost ways of saving money. All those political parties that promise vast savings by identifying “efficiencies” and stamping out waste? They’re appealing for a reason.   Read more »

OK, what would you do with this man – before he kills someone?

This story fell off the edge yesterday, but it still needs some attention.  Police reporter Sam Boyer from the NZ Herald reported on this shocking state of events:

Brian Mitchell Hart, 58, from Hawkes Bay, has 20 convictions for drink-driving and 11 for driving while disqualified, and has been sent to prison 33 times for these and other offences.

But every time he gets out, he gets his licence back, drinks again and gets back behind the wheel.

He has twice been disqualified from driving “indefinitely”.

On one of those occasions, in 2002, he underwent counselling and treatment for alcohol addiction and after an assessment by a government-approved counsellor, was approved to get his licence back by the New Zealand Transport Authority.

Under the law, the toughest sentence for repeat drink-drivers is indefinite disqualification, which can be imposed only under a specific set of circumstances.

This is where Brian Hart can’t be stopped.  He doesn’t need a license, and he can access a new car if he so wishes.

Ready to put himself, others, and even children at risk of injury and death.   Read more »