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How alcohol changes the way we think



A group of friends drinking alcohol on a night out
21% of adults in England take alcohol in quantities that can affect their health (Source: GOV.UK)

Drinking is so embedded into our social lives we often forget the ways in which it can affect our mental state, but more than that, we forget entirely that alcohol is a drug like any other, with its own effects on the body and mind. More recently, studies are now showing that even moderate alcohol consumption puts at higher risk from alcohol-related diseases, which begs the question, what is alcohol doing to me?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), alcohol is a toxic substance with psychoactive properties which is responsible for 5.1% of the disease burden globally.

As documented by GOV.UK, 21% of adults in England take alcohol in quantities that increases their risk for ill health. Here is how alcohol changes the way we think.

What alcohol does to your brain

Alcohol is a psychoactive substance which alters your thoughts, consciousness, mood and behaviour. Additionally, larger quantities of alcohol may elicit depressive effects on the brain which may further affect your balance, mood, thought patterns, consciousness and behaviours. Effects of alcohol on the brain include:

Poor judgement

With alcohol intake, you lose the sense of awareness and rational thinking which puts you at a higher risk of making wrong decisions and poor judgement. Alcohol affects how the brain process situations and conditions which will further impair decisions you make regarding the situation. According to the NHS, 4-6 units of alcohol will alter that part of your brain responsible for decision-making causing you to lose all sense of restraint and become reckless.

Loss of memory

Black-outs associated with acute intake of alcohol are short periods of memory loss or gaps in your memory while intoxicated with alcohol. This happens as a result of the inhibitory effect of alcohol on the hippocampus where the consolidation of memories is carried out. This blocks the conversion of short-term memory to long-term memory.

Alcohol, in the long term, can also damage your brain and affect your ability to retain and remember certain information. In severe cases, you may develop what is called Alcohol-related dementia, which is a type of brain damage associated with long-term alcohol intake. The memory loss may be so severe that you may be unable to carry out day-to-day tasks, and may need a caregiver.

Loss of balance

Alcohol impairs the communication pathways in the brain which are responsible for maintaining balance. According to the NHS, 10 to 12 units of alcohol affects your coordination which may make you giddy and prone to accidents. Here, the depressive effect of alcohol begins to set in and may lead to sleepiness, drowsiness and staggered movements.

Impaired speech and vision

Alcohol affects the part of the brain that controls speech and vision and can lead to speech slurring and visual disturbances. The NHS documents that 8 to 9 units of alcohol will cause your speech to slur and lead to a lack of visual focus. You may also begin to have visual hallucinations, that is, seeing things that are not there.

Dependence and addiction

Alcohol is a highly addictive substance which can lead to dependence and subsequent addiction. Alcohol dependence is characterised by the strong drive to increase the amount of alcohol you take and is caused by repeated intake of alcohol over a long period. Addiction ensues when you are unable to control your alcohol intake despite the negative impact it has on your life and family.

Permanent alterations to brain structure

A study documented in the Oxford Academic Press highlighted that long-term alcohol intake can lead to a loss of brain tissue such as grey and white matter. Adolescents are particularly at risk for this alteration due to the ongoing brain development at that stage of their life.

The effect of alcohol on your mental health

In addition to the harmful effects of alcohol on the brain, your mental health is also at risk when you take large amounts of alcohol over a long period. As documented by GOV.UK, about a quarter of 589,000 people who have alcohol dependence are most likely receiving mental health therapy for depression, anxiety, psychosis, bipolar disorders and sleep disturbances.

Anxiety and depression

Alcohol intake constantly drives the brain into an aversive state which promotes the feeling of anxiety and depression. Additionally, alcohol stimulates the GABA receptors which puts you in a constant state of anxiety. Furthermore, the depressive effect of long-term use of alcohol will lead to mood depression. In certain cases, suicidal ideation may follow depression.


Long-term intake of alcohol can cause changes in the brain’s neuronal pathway and deficiency of vitamin B1(thiamine), which leads to the development of psychosis. Psychosis may also occur as a withdrawal syndrome after you suddenly stop or reduce your alcohol intake.

Long-Term health effects of alcohol

Other long-term effects of alcohol as documented by the NHS include:

  • Dehydration
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Indigestion
  • Urinary incontinence
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased blood cholesterol levels
  • High risk of stroke
  • Liver damage and failure
  • Oral cancers
  • Liver cancers
  • Breast cancer
  • Head and neck cancers
  • Intestinal or stomach cancers
  • Issues with fertility
  • Decreased sexual stamina such as premature ejaculation
  • Pancreatitis

Signs of alcohol addiction

There are signs which are indicative of alcohol addiction and they include:

  • Having a strong desire or urge to drink alcohol
  • Being unable to curtail or regulate how much alcohol you drink and when you drink it.
  • Continuing to drink alcohol despite the negative impact it is having on your life, relationships and health.
  • Excluding yourself from activities or events so you could spend more time drinking alcohol.
  • Needing to increase the quantity of alcohol you take to feel its effect. This is also known as tolerance.

How to overcome an addiction to alcohol

Addictions can be overwhelming and very difficult to tackle. It takes consistency, perseverance and support.

Ways to overcome alcohol addiction include:

  1. Consciously cut down your alcohol intake, or better still, replace alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic options.
  2. Get support: Addictions are difficult to overcome on your own, and you can access support via the following:

Support groups: These are groups where people suffering from similar addictions come together to share their experiences in their recovery journey. Some of these support groups include:

Alcohol Detoxification Services: These services are there for you to help ease withdrawal symptoms while you detox.

Therapeutic Services: These are treatment facilities that offer therapeutic treatment  while you recover from your addiction. These services may be online, in-person (outpatient) or residential-based.

I am a blogger and a content creator regularly collaborating with news and industry media outlets to help businesses and entrepreneurs to enhance their PR, branding and online authority.


New iPhone photography exhibition opens in Paris



A shot of some of the work being displayed at the iPhone 15 photo exhibition in Paris
The two-day event held at the Salon Corderie features work from five photographers, all shot on iPhone

“I Remember You,” a two-day photography exhibition, has opened today in Paris highlighting original work shot on iPhone 15 Pro Max.

The collective work of photographers Malin Fezehai, Karl Hab, Vivien Liu, Mika Ninagawa, and Stefan Ruiz incorporates people, places, and things that move them, exploring memories and the power of photography to preserve them.

“‘I Remember You’ brings together five photographers who share their deeply personal conceptions of memory, connection, and nostalgia,” explains Isolde Brielmaier, Ph.D., the exhibition’s curatorial advisor. “It is a moving glimpse of life, preserved in time.”

In celebration of the opening, each artist spoke about how iPhone has contributed to their creative process and what they hope people will remember from their featured work.

Malin Fezehai is an Eritrean/Swedish photographer, filmmaker, and visual reporter currently living in New York. She has worked in over 40 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and America. Fezehai is a National Geographic explorer, and in 2023, she became a Climate Pledge grantee. She is working on a project about adaptation to living on water. Her career started in her native Sweden, where she studied photography before attending the International Center of Photography in New York. Her work focuses on communities of displacement and dislocation around the world. She was commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme to photograph survivors of violent extremism across sub-Saharan Africa and published a book titled Survivors. She has received a 2015 World Press Photo Award and the Wallis Annenberg Prize, and was named one of the “30 Emerging Photographers to Watch” in 2015 by Photo District News. Her image depicting a wedding of Eritrean refugees in Israel was the first iPhone photo ever to receive a World Press Photo Award.

“The integration of the iPhone into my photography workflow marked a significant shift in how I perceive and capture the world around me — feeling more inclined to capture life as it happens — the fleeting, candid moments that often define the human experience,” Fezehai says. “Its ease of use and ability to capture high-quality images effortlessly enables me to explore and document the ordinary in extraordinary ways. That sentiment is embodied in the work I created for the show.”

“I Remember You” will be on display at the Salon Corderie in Le Marais in Paris on Friday, November 10, and Saturday, November 11, from 11 am to 7 pm.

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9 Christmas Markets to visit in the UK in 2023



A Christmas market in Bath, UK
UK Christmas market are also an opportunity to discover new destinations this winter.

It is Christmas market season in the UK.

From late November through December, towns and cities across the UK are coming alive with festivities and a variety of local markets offering handcrafted gifts from local artisans showcasing their talents to international vendors offering goods from around the world.

Beyond the shopping experience in the market stalls, twinkling lights, live entertainment, and mulled wine, UK Christmas market are also an opportunity to discover new destinations this winter.

Euronewsweek has selected nine of the country’s best Christmas markets, ideal for a family day trip or a romantic night out.

Here are our Christmas Markets to visit in the UK in 2023.

Birmingham Christmas Market 2023

A firm favourite on the city’s Yuletide calendar, Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market  is the largest German Christmas market outside of Germany or Austria. Expect a fine range of traditional gifts and products on its 180 stalls and get into the  festive spirit while indulging in schnitzels, bratwursts, crepes, glühwein and weissbeer. Another huge draw is its bandstand location in Victoria Square and the programme of live music and carol singers that bring party vibes to your festive shopping. 

When? 3 November to 23 December 2023 

While you’re here
Check out outdoor skating at Ice Rink Birmingham, the Big Wheel Experience, or head to Wightwick in Wolverhampton to experience a traditional Victorian Christmas. 

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 2023

Hyde Park, London

Transforming London’s most famous park, Winter Wonderland is the biggest Christmas attraction in the capital. Home to the world’s tallest transportable Ferris wheel and the UK’s largest open air ice rink, thrilling fairground rides and numerous bars and food stalls, you’ll need at least a day to enjoy all the attractions here. Don’t miss jaw-dropping circus acts at Cirque Berserk and creative ice sculpting workshops, and browse over 100 wooden chalets for unique gifts, festive decorations and culinary delights.

When? November 2023 to January 2024

While you’re here
Wander further afield and take photos of the festive window displays at Hamleys, Selfridge’s and Harrods, and the capital’s festive lights along Regent Street and Oxford Street.

Southbank Winter Festival 2023

Southbank Centre, London

The popular Winter Festival returns to London’s Southbank Centre this autumn, a festive favourite that sits alongside an eclectic programme of festive shows and events along the banks of the River Thames. All along the South Bank you’ll find twinkling wooden cabins selling Christmas gifts, from the quirky to the traditional. Make sure you get a selfie by the towering Christmas tree before you leave.

When? 28 October 2023 to 7 January 2024

While you’re here
Enjoy a live classical music concert Christmas in Tinseltown, featuring tunes from your favourite Christmas films played by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and presented by film reviewer Mark Kermode on 14 December.  

Winchester Christmas Market 2023

Winchester Cathedral

With its unique location on the grounds of a celebrated English icon, Winchester Cathedral’s Christmas Market is widely regarded as one of Europe’s best. More than 100 chalets are home to hand-picked exhibitors offering exclusive gifts that visitors won’t find on the high street – from hand-crafted decorations and festive treats to craft beer and mulled wine.

When? 17 November to – 21 December 2023

While you’re here
Head inside the 1.000 year-old Cathedral to hear a range of seasonal services taking place, from Advent evensongs to carol services, featuring the acclaimed choir. 

York Christmas Market 2023

Parliament Street, York

Soak up medieval charm at York’s award-winning Christmas fair. Alpine-style chalets take pride of place on Parliament Street, offering an array of festive decorations, foodie treats and traditional Christmas gifts. For local Yorkshire produce, head for the Make in Yorkshire Yuletide Village, and for all the fun of the fair, slide down the Victorian-style helter-skelter at Kings Square. After all that excitement, you’ll need a tipple or two, so stop by the rustic barn in St Sampson’s Square for a glass of mulled wine and a cup of hot roasted chestnuts.

When? 18 November to 23 December 2023

While you’re here

Lace up your walking boots for a 90-minute daily Festive Guided Walking Tour, which explores the history, tales and traditions of 2,000 years of festive tradition including Winter Solstice, Saturnalia, Yule and of course, our modern idea of Christmas.

Rochester Christmas Market 2023

Rochester, Kent

This Medway market attracts more than 130,000 visitors a year. Found in Rochester’s Castle Gardens, browse a range of chalet-style stalls selling everything from Fairtrade clothing to dog toys and homemade jams. Head over to the Bavarian food village for a bratwurst before letting loose on some good old-fashioned fairground rides. The market also coincides with the Dickensian Christmas Festival (2 to 3 December 2023), where you can immerse yourself in Victoriana, meet costumed characters and listen to open-air carolling.

When? 25 November to 10 December 2023

While you’re here
Grab your 19th-century ball gown and attend the Mistletoe Ball, part of the Dickensian Christmas Festival. 

Bath Christmas Market 2023

Bath Christmas Market sees more than 160 pop-up chalets set up on pretty Georgian streets and around its prized Abbey. Browse stalls selling food, decorations, homeware, jewellery and everything in between from local artisans and craftsmen in the South West and further afield. With new stalls to explore alongside the perennial favourites, you can indulge in a cup of mulled wine and a warm festive snack to keep those winter chills at bay.

When? 23 November to 10 December 2023

While you’re here
Check out Bath on Ice, which along with its ice rink, is home to Glow Golf, a mini golf course decked out with fairy lights. Glow-in-the-dark golf balls will also help you get a hole-in-one after dark.

Norwich Christmas Markets 2023

Norwich doesn’t have just one Christmas market; it has several! With festive events taking place from November, there are plenty of reasons to visit up until the big day itself. The largest, Festive Fair at The Forum, spills onto the pedestrianised amphitheatre opposite Norwich’s biggest medieval church. Browse stalls selling handmade East Anglian crafts, art, food and drink to the soundtrack of live Christmas music, and don’t miss the delicious street food.

When? 23 to 26 November 2023

While you’re here
Stop for a cup of warming Gluhwein at Sir Toby’s Beers on Norwich Market (Norwich’s smallest bar), The Nutcracker-themed afternoon tea at The Assembly House and the magical illuminations on Norwich Castle.

Stratford-upon-Avon Victorian Christmas Market 2023

Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire

Step back in time at this award-winning Victorian Christmas Market spreading traditional festive cheer with shopping, street food and free entertainment. Around 300 stalls, complete with Victorian outfit-clad vendors, will be selling a wide range of gifts and seasonal products, and over on Wood Street, there’ll be a traditional funfair to keep the little ones entertained, including an original Victorian-era carousel.

When? 7 to 10 December 2023

While you’re here
Experience traditional winter blooms and ‘Wassailing’ (traditional folk singing) at Christmas at Shakespeare’s birthplace.

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Almost 300 London renters face no-fault evictions each week



A family at home
A third of all no-fault evictions in England in recent years have been in London, up 70 per cent in the last year | Photo: Jimmy Dean

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has warned that the Government’s delay in banning Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions has already taken a devastating toll on many Londoners, and that thousands more are at risk of becoming homeless if the Bill is delayed further into next year.  

New City Hall analysis reveals that 290 London renters a week have faced no-fault evictions since the Government’s pledge to strip landlords of the power to evict tenants without reason four years ago (also known as a ‘Section 21’ evictions given their legal basis in the 1988 Housing Act).  

Under current legislation, landlords in England can issue a Section 21 notice if they want to take possession of their property from its current tenants. Landlords do not have to give a reason for the eviction and only have to give two months’ notice.  

Ministers promised to scrap this method of evictions back in 2019 to give renters more security, and this year the Levelling Up Secretary, Michael Gove, introduced the long-awaited Renters Reform Bill to Parliament which, if passed, would ban no-fault evictions for good.   

However, this four-year delay has had a detrimental impact on London renters, where the use of no-fault evictions is particularly high. City Hall analysis shows that since 2019, a third of all no-fault evictions in England took place in the capital, up 70 per cent in the last year. This analysis is based on the number of Section 21 notices that have been followed up with a possession claim. The true scale of the problem could be far worse as not all Section 21 notices will necessarily reach this stage [1]. A further delay of six months to the passing of the Bill into law would mean 15,000 more Londoners risk facing no-fault eviction.  

With homelessness in the capital already on the rise, Sadiq is urging Ministers urgently to strengthen and pass the Renters Reform Bill to prevent more London renters from being kicked out of their homes without good reason. In particular, he is calling on the Government to close any loopholes that would still enable landlords to unfairly evict tenants once Section 21 is removed. Sadiq is also calling on the Government to extend the notice period when tenants are evicted for no fault of their own – such as where the landlord wishes to move into the property – from two months to four, to allow renters sufficient time to seek advice and plan for an unexpected move, and to prevent homelessness. 

“This new analysis is deeply concerning. For too long, landlords have been able to take advantage of exploitative no-fault evictions, which leave renters vulnerable, simply because the Government refuses to act. It is inexcusable that four years after the Government vowed to ban no-fault evictions, so little progress has been made. Ministers must act swiftly to strengthen and pass the Renters Reform Bill to ensure that renters get the legal protections they desperately need and deserve”, says Sadiq Khan.  

Today (Monday 23rd October), is the second reading of the Renters (Reform) Bill. Khan has also called on the Government to urgently introduce a two-year rent freeze to ease the burden of the cost-of-living crisis, saving London renters on average £3,374 over two years, and to deliver the £4.9bn a year that’s needed to build more genuinely affordable homes across the capital.  

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