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  • Alcohol is 45% more affordable than it was in 1980
  • Alcohol misuse costs England approximately £21bn per year in healthcare, crime and lost productivity costs
  • Average alcohol consumption has gradually fallen in many OECD countries between 1980 and 2009 with an average overall decrease of 9%. The United Kingdom however, has seen an increase of over 9% in these three decades
  • It is estimated that 2.6 million children in the UK are living with parents who are drinking hazardously and 705,000 living with dependent drinkers

Alcohol and health

  • Alcohol is a causal factor in more than 60 medical conditions, including: mouth, throat, stomach, liver and breast cancers; high blood pressure, cirrhosis of the liver; and depression
  • In 2010 alcohol use was the third leading risk factor contributing to the global burden of disease after high blood pressure and tobacco smoking
  • In 2011 there were 8748 deaths directly related to alcohol in UK
  • The alcohol-related mortality rate of men in the most disadvantaged socio-economic class is 3.5 times higher than for men in the least disadvantaged class, while for women the figure is 5.7 times
  • There were 1.2 million alcohol-related hospital admissions in England in the year 2011/12, a 135% increase since 2002/03
  • Between 2002 and 2009, 92,220 children and young people aged under-18 were admitted to hospital in England for alcohol-related conditions, on average over 36 children or young people per day
  • Hospital admissions for people under 30 with alcohol-related liver disease has increased in England by 117%. In the North East of England the increase is 400%
  • In England in 2011/12 there were 49,456 hospital admissions for alcohol-related liver disease
  • Liver disease is the only major cause of mortality and morbidity which is on the increase in England whilst decreasing in other European countries
  • Deaths from liver disease in England have reached record levels, rising by 20% in a decade, with alcoholic liver disease accounting for over a third (37%) of all liver disease deaths
  • The number of older people between the ages of 60 and 74 admitted to hospitals in England with mental and behavioural disorders associated with alcohol use has risen by over 50% more than in the 15-59 age group over the past 10 years (a 94% increase in the 15-59 age group from 27,477 to 53,258 and a 150% increase in the 60-74 age group from 3,247 to 8,120

Treatment

  • There are an estimated 1.6 million people dependent on alcohol in England
  • 108,906 adults were in structured alcohol treatment in England in 2011/12 (64% male, 36%)
  • In 2011-12, 13,299 children and young people under the age of 18 in England accessed specialist services for problems with alcohol
  • Only 6.4% of dependent drinkers access treatment
  • For every £1 invested in specialist alcohol treatment, £5 is saved on health, welfare and crime costs

Crime

  • An estimated 9990 people were casualties of drink-driving accidents in the UK in 2011 including 280 who were killed and 1290 who suffered serious injury
  • Victims believed the offender(s) to be under the influence of alcohol in around half (47%) of all violent incidents, or 917,000 offences
  • Alcohol-related crime costs £11 billion per year (2010-11 costs, England)

Drinking behaviour

  • 34% of men and 28% of women drank more than recommended (4 units for men, 3 for women) on at least one day in the last week. Excluding those who didn’t drink at all in the last week the figure rises to 52% of men and 53% of women
  • 18% of men and 12% of women drank heavily (at least twice the recommended limits) on at least one day in the last week. Excluding those who didn’t drink at all in the last week the figure rises to 27% of men and 22% of women
  • 9% of men and 6% of women drank very heavily (at least three times the recommended limits) on at least one day in the last week. Excluding those who didn’t drink at all in the last week the figure rises to 14% of men and 12% of women
  • Adults living in households in the highest income quintile are twice as likely to drink heavily as adults in lowest income quintile – 22% compared to 10%
  • Older people tend to drink more frequently than younger. The proportion of adults who drank every day increased with each group – just 1% of 16-24 age group had drunk every day during the previous week, 4% in 25-44, 9% in 45-64 and 13% in 65+
  • Younger people tend to drink more heavily (exceeding 8 units for men and 6 units for women) on a single occasion than older people. 6% of men aged 65 and over had drunk heavily on at least one day in the previous week, compared with 19% of men aged 45 to 64, 24% of men aged 24-44 and 22% of men aged 16 to 24. Among women the corresponding age groups were 2%, 12%, 16% and 18%

For further information on these statistics please info@alcoholconcern.org.uk.