One in four drink too much21st May 2009
New NHS figures have shown that a quarter of adults in England drink above what are deemed safe levels.
However, the NHS Information Centre report also reveals that heavy alcohol consumption is falling and there is also a drop in the number of men and women drinking above recommended levels.
Despite this, alcohol deaths rose by 19% between 2001 and 2006 and reached 6,541 in 2007 of which the majority suffered liver failure.
The figures show a third of men and 20% of women in England are estimated to regularly drink above 21 and 14 units per week – a level regarded as hazardous.
Men with signs of alcohol dependence fell between 2000 and 2007 from 11.5% to 9%, while female figures remained static at 4%.
Martin Plant, professor of addiction studies at the University of the West of England, said: "There is definitely some good news within this, but we still have a chronic problem."
But he added: "It may however be the case that recession pushes the figures down further as alcohol consumption does tend to go down when we're watching what we spend."
Alcohol was 75% more affordable in 2008 than it was in 1980 while alcohol-related harm costs the NHS in England £2.7bn a year.
Chief executive of Alcohol Concern Alcohol Don Shenker said: "As alcohol has become more affordable fuelled by the growth of irresponsible low cost sales, the population as whole is drinking more and this is having a massive impact on the nation's health."
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Title: One in four drink too much
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 11443
Date Added: 21st May 2009