Rapid responses are electronic comments to the editor. They enable our users
to debate issues raised in articles published on bmj.com. A rapid response
is first posted online. If you need the URL (web address) of an individual
response, simply click on the response headline and copy the URL from the
browser window. A proportion of responses will, after editing, be published
online and in the print journal as letters, which are indexed in PubMed.
Rapid responses are not indexed in PubMed and they are not journal articles.
The BMJ reserves the right to remove responses which are being
wilfully misrepresented as published articles or when it is brought to our
attention that a response spreads misinformation.
From March 2022, the word limit for rapid responses will be 600 words not
including references and author details. We will no longer post responses
that exceed this limit.
The word limit for letters selected from posted responses remains 300 words.
Alcohol is an addictive depressant and social lubricant that tricks and traps us by creating the fleeting euphoria of relaxation and confidence, but the sustained sickness of anxiety and despair. The euphoria of relaxation and confidence, and the sickness of anxiety and despair, are opposites that reinforce each other: the euphoria blinds us to the sickness, and the sickness makes us crave the euphoria. Perversely but predictably, alcohol creates, aggravates, and perpetuates the very sickness of anxiety and despair that it falsely seems to cure, thus placing even social drinking in a bad light.