Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Ian Gilmore quits as government alcohol adviser in opposition to industry deal

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: (Published 11 September 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k3882

Rapid Response:

Beware of Alcohol

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.

Competing interests: No competing interests

12 September 2018
Hugh Mann
New York, NY, USA