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Alcohol addiction statistics in the UK

In 2017, there were an estimated 586, 780 people dependent on alcohol in England alone, and less than 20% were receiving treatment for their addiction. ¹

Using the latest public surveys conducted by the NHS, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the UK Government, Manor Clinic has compiled the key statistics on alcohol use and misuse in the UK. 

Alcohol consumption statistics in the UK

  • In 2017, 29.2 million people in Great Britain drank alcohol, which equates to 57.0% of people aged 16 years and over ²
  • In 2017, it was recorded that an estimated 586,780 people were dependent on alcohol in England ¹
  • In 2017, 20% of people who took part in a survey said that they didn’t drink alcohol at all ²
  • Since 2005, teetotalism has increased for people aged 16 to 44 years, and fallen for those aged 65 and over ²

Alcohol consumption statistics by gender

  • In 2017, 28% of men and 14% of women aged 16 years and over drank more than 14 units of alcohol per week ³
  • In 2017, 36% of men and 20% of women between the ages of 55 to 64 most commonly drank over 14 units in a week ³
  • In 2020, the figures have slightly risen for this age group, for men at 38%, but decreased for women at 19% usually drinking over 14 units in a week ⁵

Alcohol related health problems statistics

  • In 2018/19, 76,000 people were treated for problematic drinking in the UK ⁴
  • In 2018/19 there were 358,000 alcohol-related admissions to hospital ⁴
  • In 2017/18, 337,870 of hospital admissions were caused by alcohol consumption ³
  • The over 65 age group were reported to have the highest rate of hospital admissions for alcohol-related conditions ⁵

Alcohol related illnesses statistics

  • In 2018, there were 5,698 alcohol-specific deaths recorded, which is 2% lower than the previous year ⁴
  • In 2018/19, figures showed that the most common chronic condition, partially caused by alcohol was cardiovascular disease ⁵
  • In 2018/19, the estimated number of alcohol-related hospital admissions from cardiovascular disease was 645,070 ⁵

Children of alcoholic parents statistics

  • According to the NACAO website, 1 in 5 children in the UK are affected by their parents' drinking ⁶
  • In 2016/17, an estimated 21% of alcohol dependent parents were receiving treatment ⁷
  • 2018 figures showed that there were around 471,000 children in families in the UK where 2 of the following factors were present - domestic violence, parental mental ill health and alcohol or drug abuse ⁷
  • 2018 figures showed that there were 103,000 children in families where all 3 factors were present ⁷

Binge drinking statistics

  • In 2017, on their heaviest drinking day, 28.7% of men and 25.6% of women binged alcohol ²
  • In 2017, young adults between the ages of 16 to 24 were more likely to “binge” on alcohol on their heaviest drinking day ²
  • In 2017, among people who consumed alcohol, binge drinking was most common in the North West and least common in the South East ²
  • In the North West, one in three drinkers, in 2017, “binged” on alcohol on their heaviest drinking day ²

If you or someone that you know is struggling with an alcohol addiction, it’s important to understand that you’re not alone; specialist help and support is available. Our highly skilled team at Manor Clinic in Hampshire are dedicated to helping you get your life back on track.

We recognise that it can be difficult to take the first step towards recovery from an alcohol addiction, which is why we offer a free alcohol addiction assessment to all of our prospective patients.

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