Will minimum unit pricing for alcohol really save hundreds of lives in Scotland?

Scotland has become the first country in the world to implement minimum unit pricing for alcohol.

New legislation brought into force sets a minimum 50 pence per unit price to tackle the damage caused by cheap, high strength alcohol.

The government says research shows that the move is expected to save 392 lives in the first five years of implementation.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “I am extremely proud that the eyes of the world will once again be on Scotland with the introduction of this legislation.

“Our action is bold and it is brave, and shows once again that we are leading the way in introducing innovative solutions to public health challenges.

“It’s no secret that Scotland has a troubled relationship with alcohol. There are, on average, 22 alcohol-specific deaths every week in Scotland, and 697 hospital admissions and behind every one of these statistics is a person, a family, and a community badly affected by alcohol misuse.

“Given the clear and proven link between consumption and harm, minimum unit pricing is the most effective and efficient way to tackle the cheap, high strength alcohol that causes so much damage to so many families.”

Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “We know we need to act now to change people’s attitudes towards alcohol and I am confident that, with the introduction of minimum unit pricing, we are moving in the right direction. Alcohol misuse costs Scotland £3.6 billion each year – that’s £900 for every adult in the country.

“Scotland has the highest rate of alcohol-related deaths in the UK –  from today, I hope we will see that change.”female-alcoholism-2847443_1920

Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood said: “As a nation we drink 40 per cent more than the low risk drinking guidelines of 14 units per week for men and women. Prior to the implementation of minimum unit pricing, those 14 units could be bought for just £2.52. This is absolutely unacceptable.

“That is where this new legislation comes in, and I am confident that over the first five years of its operation, minimum unit pricing will reduce the number of alcohol-specific deaths by hundreds, and hospital admissions by thousands.”

Holistic Scotland Magazine would love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Do you agree with the new legislation, or have an experience to share? Have your say in the comments below, or get in touch with our editor at 


Could hypnosis help beat junk food addiction?

New research has found that the UK has the unhealthiest diet in Europe, with Brits consuming five times more processed food than Portugal, and four times more than France, Greece, or Italy.
According to HypnoSlimming, 50% of the average person’s diet in the UK is processed food, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.
It says this kind of processed junk food can be as addictive as hard drugs, with salt and sugar being habit-forming substances that create positive feedback loops in the brain.
Eating any food triggers the release of dopamine in the brain, however certain sugars, fats, and processed chemicals can have the same effect as cocaine, flooding our brain with more dopamine than it is used to, thus overriding dopamine pathways to only release the neurochemical when we eat those unhealthy foods, which causes an addiction.
This leads to cravings, which are distinctly different from hunger. Hunger is when our body needs sustenance; cravings are when our bodies want a reward. Dopamine is not necessary for maintenance of the body, only as a reward which makes us repeat behaviour. This is why some people eat junk food even when they’re not hungry.
Eating less of these foods can eventually reset our dopamine levels and responses, but this is easier said than done. Fighting addiction is one of the toughest things a person can do, especially when combined with the fact that so much of what we eat is the very thing we’re trying to cut out of our system.
HypnoSlimming claims hypnosis can bypass the addiction by tapping into the power of the subconscious mind, meaning people eat less junk food without exerting any effort.
Hypnosis expert Adam Cox is offering a free hypnosis test to find out if hypnosis is right for anyone trying to lose weight or get healthier.
He says: “Foods that are high in sugar or salt are more likely to be addictive, when blood sugar levels are lowered there is a physical craving which is hard to resist. For people with processed food addiction I use hypnosis to help them believe that junk food is toxic or poisonous.
“People respond to foods differently if they associate them with being dangerous. Since junk food is responsible for so many health issues from obesity to Type 2 diabetes it’s not difficult for the unconscious mind to accept that junk food is genuinely dangerous.
“However since not everyone can afford to work with a Harley Street hypnotherapist I’ve created an audio download that can help people destroy their cravings for unhealthy food.
“Changing eating habits, especially if you can’t control yourself, is never easy, which is why so many people are turning to hypnosis to get the help they need.”