Reduced alcohol use in UK revealed but Demand for Addictions Treatment remains high
The number of people saying they drank heavily fell between 2007 and 2011 according to figures reported by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The change in attitudes to alcohol came after significant health concerns were raised over increasing consumption by women in the mid 2000s. These figures are part of an official snapshot looking at demographic, social and economic change in England, Wales and Scotland over the past 40 years.
The ONS said the proportion of men drinking on five or more days per week fell from 23% in 1998 to 16% in 2011 and that of women from 13% to 9%. But the drop only began to be seen after 2007. Men and women over 45 are consistently more likely than young people to drink that often. Heavy drinking (more than eight units on at least one day in the past week for men, six for women) has also dropped. Heavy drinkers among men aged 16-24 fell from 32% in 2007 to 22% in 2011, and among women of the same age from 24% to 18%.
Simon Stephens, Director of Casework at Addictins UK said, “Whilst increased awareness of the effects of alcohol may have led to reduced alcohol use in the population there are still many people who require treatment to overcome their dependence on alcohol.”
He said, “Many people just do not understand the difference between heavy drinking and a pathological dependence – it is not the amount of alcohol alone that is the issue it is the unmanageability that is caused to the individual.”
Addictions UK receives calls for help from many people who are desperate for treatment and who are suffering as a result of reduced budget within the Public Sector.
For more on this story see the recent article in the Guardian Newspaper
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