Access to free education, quality treatment and the best alcohol rehab centres across the United Kingdom has never been greater. But the same could also be said for the UK’s growing issue with alcohol addiction and abuse. In terms of the reasons, critics state that it’s largely impossible to send the right message to the country’s public while alcoholic drinks remain so comprehensively accessible and affordable. You might try to educate people as to the dangers of alcohol, only to then freely promote it and sell it for next to nothing.
Which is exactly why one of the few ways of getting the point across is to revisit a few key statistics and facts. The General Lifestyle Survey carried out in the United Kingdom each year brings to light a range of highly interesting findings – some definitely more eye-opening that others. It is hardly a secret that both youth and adult drinking habits leave a lot to be desired, but it is not until you see the issue in hard figures that you really get a feel for the depth and scope of the problem.
Take a look at these examples:
- Excluding the people who don’t drink any alcohol at all, 52% of men and 53% of women are reported to exceed official guidelines when it comes to weekly and daily alcohol intake. Men advised to drink no more than four units per day while women should remain below three units – advice that’s clearly not being followed.
- Once again, excluding those who don’t drink at all, around 27% of men and 22% of women admit to having more than double the recommended daily intake on at least one day of the week. In total, almost 20% of all men admit to drinking heavily every week.
- When it comes to heavy drinking – as in drinking three times the recommended daily maximum and more – 14% of men and 12% of women admitted to doing so every week. In total, around 8% of the adult population is reported to drink at such levels on a weekly basis.
- Curiously, studies show that older adults tend to drink more frequently than those in the younger age brackets. In regards to people who drink alcohol every day, 13% of the individuals aged over 65 were reported to drink on a daily basis, the figure dropping to 9% for the 44-64 age group, 4% for the people aged 25 to 44 and only 1% in the 16-26 age group.
- However, the trend was entirely reversed when it came to drinking excessively and heavily in single drinking sessions. The oldest people had a binge drinking rate of only 65, gradually increasing as the age descended to reach a staggering 22% in the 16-24 age group.
- The most recent study revealed that half of all children of school age – 11 to 15 – had consumed alcoholic drinks on more than one occasion. The specific circumstances were not specified though.
- Contrary to what many people believe, it is not only older adults that are at risk of dying due to alcohol abuse. Every year, more than 300 young adults aged 15-34 lose their lives as a direct result of alcohol abuse.
- Between the years 2002 and 2010, the number of hospital admissions directly associated to alcohol consumption among the men in the 15 to 24 bracket grew by nearly 60%, hitting a terrifying high of 29,000.
- Things were even worse for women in the same age bracket, reporting a huge 76% increase over the same period of time to come out at nearly 27,000 admissions.
- Alcohol consumption is largely regarded as the number one cause of harmful promiscuity among young adults and teenagers. Studies show that more than 10% of the 15 to 16 year-olds engage in sexual activities under the influence and later regret it. Additionally, around 1 in every 9 teenagers has engaged in unsafe sexual activities after drinking alcohol.
- On a more positive note, the number of 11 to 15 year-olds consuming alcohol on a regular basis has dropped to just 12% in 2011 – a big decrease from the 26% in 2001.