Alcohol Use Disorders (48) Does alcohol have health benefits? (3) Contradictory advice from professsionals: Why, what, how?

14 February, 2024

[Re: ]

Hi Neil

I’ll respond to the other posts (re harm to others, and re the CAGE) when I can, but this is quick. It is not solely that people “adopt an inappropriate stance of certainty? Some of us appear unable or unwilling to accept that 'the science is not yet clear'” – it is also that all scientific data is open to interpretation – the myth has been well exploded over the past decades of the scientist as a purely objective being, not influenced by a huge number of internal and external factors. In fact, all data and conclusions deduced from them are theory-laden, and influenced by a wide range of factors; and I think that this issue of relativism is also being played out in this debate.

All the best


Professor Richard Velleman <>

Emeritus Professor of Mental Health Research, University of Bath

Co-Director, Addictions and related Research Group, Sangath Community Health NGO, Goa, India

Trustee and Treasurer, AFINet (Addiction and the Family International Network)

HIFA profile: Richard Velleman is Emeritus Professor/ C-Director, Addictions and related Research Group. Organisation: Sangath, Goa, India/University of Bath, UK. Professional interests: Addiction; families; mental health. Email address: r.d.b.velleman AT

[*Note from HIFA moderator (NPW): Thank you Richard. This is a really interesting topic. I have added the words: Contradictory advice from professsionals: Why, what, how? - so that we can explore Why different professionals come to such wildly different conclusions about the available evidence (as you have started to adress); What impact this has on people's understanding and on efforts to address AUDs; and How we can address these issues so that people (patients, the public, HWs, policymakers) are better informed and less confused.]