How many people drink alcohol in the UK?
27% men and 14% women drink over recommended number of units weekly. (ONS 1998)
In the UK there are approximately:
What is a unit of alcohol?
Average Units in:
Work out the units
It's the strength and size of a drink that determines how many units it has. It's not as simple as one drink, one unit.
A handy calculator to help you work it out can be found at: www.drinkaware.co.uk
What are the recommended safe drinking limits
British medical association suggests
Men - less than 21 units a week
Women - less than 14 units
Department of health suggests
Men - less than 3 to 4 units a day
Women - less than 2 to 3 units a day
When does the consumption of Alcohol become a problem?
Binge drinking means 8 units for men, 6 for women and 5 for a young person in one session. Binge drinking increases risk of accidents, violent attacks, sexual assault and unsafe sex. If you are planning to drink above the recommended guidelines, follow the tips for sensible drinking, so that you reduce the risks you are taking.
Drinking over the sensible limit. 1/5 of the adult population fall into this category.
When physical, psychological or social harm occurs through drinking 8% of Men and 4% of Women fall into this category.
For example when there is difficulty with control of drinking, experience of withdrawal symptoms when not drinking, increased tolerance to alcohol i.e. being able to consume more without getting drunk. 4.7% of the adult population are in this category.
How is alcohol affecting our society?
Local research carried out at Bristol Royal Infirmary Apr-Jun 2001, by John Potokar, Consultant Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry. Looked at prevalence of alcohol misuse on a general admissions ward using the alcohol use disorders identification test. 119 patients selected at random aged 16-65 assessed with AUDIT questionnaire: 30% drank in hazardous or harmful way (Not yet published)
Number of people dying from excess alcohol in the UK
Each year 5,000 to 10,000 people die prematurely from alcohol abuse. The more alcohol a population consumes the more alcohol-related damage will result, and consumption has been increasing steadily in England since the second world war.
Deaths from liver cirrhosis relate closely to heavy drinking. Deaths linked to cirrhosis and related diseases of the liver rose by 121% for men and 68% for women between 1980-82 and 2000, according to the Office for National Statistics.