Alcohol-related deaths in Britain rising fast

Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:16am EST
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By Stefano Ambrogi

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Alcohol-related deaths in Britain have more than doubled over the past 16 years, official statistics showed Thursday, with those in managerial and professional jobs regularly drinking more than manual workers.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures showed deaths rose from 4,023 in 1992 to 9,031 in 2008.

Overall, death rates have doubled since the early 1990s, from 6.7 per 100,000 population to 13.6, with men twice as likely to die from alcohol consumption than women.

Charities like Drinkaware said irresponsible drinking was still a "huge and costly" problem across Britain, despite government efforts to educate and clamp down on binge drinking and cheap booze.

"It's shocking to discover that alcohol-related deaths are again on the increase, and it's vital now, more than ever, that we act to reduce the harms caused by drinking too much," said Drinkaware's chief executive Chris Sorek.

"With more and more people dying from alcohol misuse, it's essential we change people's relationship with drinking, and education has a key role to play," he said.

"Male alcohol-related deaths have more than doubled in the last 17 years, but women also need to vigilant."

The charity said the fact that average weekly consumption had decreased slightly in two years was a step in the right direction, but much more still needed to be done.   Continued...