As we spent time with the families of these murderers, one thing was clear: their lives had appeared normal up until the point they killed someone, with no warning signs of what was to come. Unlike men, most women who kill have no history of criminality. Their crimes seemed like aberrations, moments of madness.
While a war has been declared on sugar, no such pressure is being put on alcohol. The voices in favour of minimum pricing, which has been rejected by the UK government, largely belong to health groups, the equivalent of the friend who doesn't drink - you respect their views and they are probably right, but you're having too much fun drinking to listen.
I knew from day one it wouldn't be easy to be with him. But the sober days totally outweighed the few drunk days to start with. And after months of applying for work, like any person to get the city job was a real achievement for him. When he was sober for roughly four months he was kind, loving and didn't speak to me like I was an idiot.
On Christmas Eve, I will join my parents for a night of fun, laughter, and joy. But this cheerful atmosphere sharply contrasts the mood of the family gathering seven years earlier. On that day, my father informed me that a parent is only as happy as his saddest child. My response was, "Well then, you're screwed." I was 23 years old and had surpassed a previous low to hit rock bottom...
The UK's relationship with alcohol is not without consequence. Excessive drinking places an enormous burden on our emergency services - including the police, fire, ambulance and accident and emergency - with the wider financial impact of responding to alcohol-related emergencies alongside the very human effect on the people who work in these critical areas. This is especially pertinent at a time such as this, as the Christmas season approaches.
Research by World Cancer Research Fund shows that drinking alcohol is linked to an increased risk of several cancers: bowel, breast, mouth and throat, oesophageal, stomach and liver. In the UK, 21,000 cases of cancer could be prevented each year if nobody drank alcohol, but how does alcohol actually interact with us to cause such a drastic effect?
Isolation can be a cause of addiction. It's also a common symptom. It might be a chicken or the egg argument, but addicted individuals tend to isolate themselves in order to hide their addiction. On the other hand, isolation can also be the trigger that leads people down the road of substance abuse.