Alcoholic drinks: a pint of beer, a glass of whisky, a gin and tonic and a glass of red wine,
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Alcohol abuse's hidden world

What happens when you drink alcohol?

The answer, on one level, is simple - you get drunk. But the science reveals a complicated series of reactions that lie behind drinking - between chemicals and neurons, genes and environment, people and society. Understanding these factors is important. Alcohol is implicated in 47% of violent crime in the UK and is estimated to cost the economy some £21bn a year.

The Today programme asked Sally Marlow, a researcher in alcohol addiction at King's College London, to look at the challenge of tackling alcohol abuse - and how it can best be understood - she's spent time in the north east of England.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Friday 1 March 2013.

  • 01 Mar 2013
  • From the section UK