In a world where Tesco Value Vodka, Rugby Imbibition Masters, Wetherspoons and Thursday Bridge exists, it may be a bit hard to believe that the Office of National Statistics has reported that binge-drinking among young adults is declining.
Binge-drinking for men is considered the drinking of more than 8 units of alcohol in a single day, and the guideline is 6 units for women. The behaviour is linked to liver diseases, heart diseases and cancer.
About £3.5 billion is spent every year by the NHS on treatment of alcohol misuse. According to Prof Ian Gilmore, chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK, “alcohol is the biggest single cause of death in the under 60s in the UK.”
Binge-drinking has dropped from 18 per cent in 2005 to 13 per cent in 2013. The most pronounced decrease in alcohol consumption is by one third in the age groups 16-24 and 25-44. More and more people are becoming teetotal – a fifth of the adults in Great Britain claim they do not drink. Those who still choose to drink have reduced their overall consumption.
Scotland had the highest alcohol-related death rate in the UK in 2013. Now the number of deaths have fallen from 45 per 100,000 to 29 per 100,000.
The Portman Group, the responsibility body for alcoholic beverages producers, commented: ”These positive trends are part of a decade-long culture change around our improving relationship with alcohol in this country.”
However, the data from these studies is not completely reliable. Prof Sir Ian Gilmore stated that the reported decrease in binge-drinking “may be in part due to the change in the ethnic make-up of the country with many people abstaining from drinking altogether.” He also added: “Many people under-report how much they drink.”