From the Editor
How to reduce alcohol consumption? That question is more relevant than ever, given evidence of increased use in Canada during the pandemic. Recently, Scotland has experimented with minimum unit pricing (MUP) – unlike a tax increase that raises the cost of all alcohol, MUP disproportionally affects low-cost wines and ciders, more likely to be consumed by heavy drinkers.
In the first selection, Grant M. A. Wyper (of the University of Glasgow) and his co-authors consider the Scottish data. In a new paper for The Lancet, they do an impressive analysis, with a controlled interrupted time series, looking at time before and after the MUP, and contrasting Scottish and (non-MUP) English data. They find: “The implementation of MUP legislation was associated with significant reductions in deaths, and reductions in hospitalisations…” We look at the paper and its implications.
In the second selection, George Musgrave (of the University of London) and his co-authors consider the connection between musicians and mental health. In a Comment for The Lancet Psychiatry, they note: “Great advances have been made in the field of musicians’ mental health.” But they argue that “further dialogue between all major stakeholders is needed if, collectively, we are to shape this emerging intervention landscape to serve the target population effectively, both the musicians themselves and the teams around them.”
And in the third selection, from the pages of the Daily Mail, Dr. Liz O’Riordan describes her career as a surgeon – and her secret battle with depression. In a personal essay, she talks about her decision to speak out. “I’ve got better at asking for help and looking after myself. But I’m not ashamed of depression. It’s part of me, and that’s OK.”