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  1. Wales

How does the alcohol pill Nalmefene work?

Nalmefene works by blocking the part of the brain which gives drinkers pleasure from alcohol Credit: PA

The alcohol pill, known as Nalmefene, is administered orally once a day and is taken when people feel the urge drink.

It works by blocking the part of the brain which gives drinkers pleasure from alcohol, stopping them from wanting more than one drink.

Men would qualify to receive the treatment if they consume 7.5 units of alcohol per day - around three to four pints of standard strength lager.

It would be offered to women who consume five units a day, which amounts to around half a bottle of wine.

Nalmefene is the only licensed medicine which helps people reduce their drinking rather than aiding them to stop drinking altogether.

Severe alcoholics and those who are able to cut down without help would not be eligible for the drug.

Regular drinkers to be offered pill to battle alcohol cravings

Drinkers who have half a bottle of wine or three pints a night are to be offered a life-saving pill which helps reduce their alcohol consumption.

PA

Nearly 600,000 people will be eligible to receive the nalmefene tablet to keep their cravings at bay.

Experts claim the drug, which costs £3 a tablet, could save as many as 1,854 lives over five years and prevent 43,074 alcohol-related diseases and injuries.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) recommended the drug's use after trials showed it cut drinking by 61% over six months when used with counselling.

Under new plans, GPs would ask patients about their alcohol intake even when they visit them for unrelated health issues.

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  1. London

Alcohol tagging 'sees impressive results' in the US

Alcohol-fuelled criminal behaviour is a real scourge on our high streets, deterring law-abiding citizens from enjoying our great city especially at night, placing massive strain on frontline services, whilst costing businesses and the taxpayer billions of pounds.

I pledged to tackle this booze culture by making the case to Government for new powers to allow mandatory alcohol testing as an additional enforcement option for the courts.

This is an approach that has seen impressive results in the US, steering binge drinkers away from repeated criminal behaviour and I am pleased we can now launch a pilot scheme in London.

– Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

Drinkers who offend could wear 'alcohol bracelet'

Those responsible for alcohol-fuelled crimes could be forced to wear a bracelet which monitors their drinking, under a new pilot scheme.

Around one million violent crimes every year are alcohol related. Credit: PA

Offenders convicted of an alcohol related offence in one of four London boroughs - Croydon, Lambeth, Southwark and Sutton - could be forced to wear the bracelet and face tougher punishments if they drink again.

Up to 150 people are expected to be made to wear the tags for four months to make sure they comply and the scheme will run over the course of a year.

The aim of the scheme is to reduce the costs of alcohol related crime.

According to the Home Office, around one million violent crimes each year are alcohol related.

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