As last week was Alcohol Awareness Week, we take a look at the drinking behaviours of the British public and why health professionals are urging people to cut back on dangerous habits that have become everyday practices for so many.
It is recommended that men drink no more than four units of alcohol per day and women no more than three yet 34% of men and 28% of women drink more than this at least once a week. If you exclude the people who didn’t drink at all in the previous week, the figure rises to 52% for men and 53% for women.
18% of men and 12% of women drink at least twice the recommended limits a minimum of once a week. Excluding those who hadn’t drunk the week before, this rises to 27% of men and 22% of women.
9% of men and 6% of women drink very heavily (at least three times the recommended limits a minimum of once a week), rising to 14% of men and 12% of women excluding those who didn’t drink at all.
There are many stereotypes about alcohol and who consumes the most but actual figures debunk a lot of these myths. Contrary to popular belief, those living in households in the highest income quintile are twice as likely to drink heavily compared to adults in the lowest income quintile.
Even more surprisingly, research continues to show that older people tend to drink more frequently than younger people. In fact, the proportion of adults who drink every day increases with age. A mere 1% of of the 16-25 age group say they have a drink every day whereas this rises to 4% of the 24-44s, 9% of those aged between 25 and 64 and 13% of the over 65s.
Younger people do however tend to drink more heavily on a single occasion compared to their elders. 6% of men and 2% of women aged over 65 said they had drunk heavily at least once in the last week compared to 19% of men aged 45-64 and 12% of women in the same age group. This increased to 24% of men and 16% of women aged 24-44.
If you think that you or someone you know could have a problem with alcohol, please feel free to visit our Alcohol Awareness Treatment and Rehabilitation page for more information about the signs, symptoms and treatments that are available.