Call now in confidence immediate help & advice 24/7

0800 088 66 86

International: +44 330 333 6197

Alcohol Statistics UK

Posted on June 14, 2022

Alcohol Statistics UK

Despite its prevalent usage in everyday life when it comes to celebrating and having fun, alcohol is an incredibly dangerous substance.

It is highly addictive, and those who become dependent on alcohol are strongly encouraged to seek medical help as soon as they can.

Alcohol dependency is so dangerous because of the lethal withdrawal symptoms that it triggers when individuals attempt to become sober. Not only this, but the impacts it can have on others and wider society can be wide and dangerous.

Unfortunately, this form of dependency impacts thousands of people across the country, and there is abundant evidence which demonstrates how much of the population struggles with alcohol misuse, how many are getting help, and what impacts the condition is having.

How big a problem is alcohol misuse in the UK?

A 2021 report by the House of Commons Library [1] found that over half of the UK’s population (54%) struggle with alcohol misuse in some form.

Men (59%) were more likely to say yes than women (50%) to have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, and adults aged between 45 and 64 were most likely to drink more than the recommended UK amount.

Regarding the quantity of alcohol people drink, the same report found that 13% of men and 8% of women drink at least 5 days a week.

In 2017, the Office of National Statistics published a study which showed that 12% of men exceeded 12 units of alcohol on their heaviest drinking day, with 7% of women exceeding 9 units [2]. The NHS recommends the consumption of no more than 14 units of alcohol a week.

The same study also found a correlation between income and drinking habits. Those earning less were more likely to drink – 11,000 of those earning between £10,000 to £15,000 drank alcohol – than those who earn more – around 7,000 of those earning more than £40,000.

What impact does alcohol have on health across the UK?

Alcohol consumption statistics, while compelling, must be considered along with those which highlight how impactful this habit is on health across the UK.

According to the latest Census [3], there were 8,974 alcohol-related deaths across the UK in 2020. That’s a rate of 14 per every 100,000 people.

The same data also indicates that the rate of male death due to alcohol (19 per 100,000) is over double that recorded for women (9.2 per 100,000).

Between 2019 and 2020, there were almost one million (976,425) hospital admissions as a result of alcohol use in England alone [4].

There has also been statistical evidence in recent years which demonstrates the long-term health issues caused by alcohol consumption. Between 2017 and 2020, the percentage of those aged 65 and over entering hospitals due to alcohol-related conditions rose by 7% [5].

How many people are receiving alcohol treatment across the UK?

There are thousands of treatment facilities located across the UK which exist to support those who struggle with alcohol misuse and addiction.

By the end of 2020, over 100,000 people were receiving treatment for alcohol-related problems, most of these getting support solely in tackling alcoholism (around 25,000 received treatment for support in using alcohol along with other addictive substances) [1].

As of 2018, around 170,000 items were being prescribed in the UK for the purposes of helping treat alcohol misuse – an increase of 27% when compared with 2008 [6].

Despite their considerably lower rate of alcoholism when compared with men in the UK (approx. 23%), women account for around 40% of those receiving treatment for alcohol misuse [7].

How does alcohol consumption impact crime in the UK?

As well as having an impact on personal wellbeing, alcoholism has a huge effect on society. Unfortunately, this is usually negative, with alcohol often being linked with unsociable and criminal behaviour.

Between 2017 and 2018, 39,000 (24%) robbery cases across England and Wales were believed to be committed by someone under the influence of alcohol [8].

Lower but still high percentages of other crimes were also found to be committed by drunk offenders: theft (12.4%), criminal damage (20.6%), and hate crime (21.5%) [9].

One of the most dangerous crimes associated with alcohol misuse is of drink driving. In 2018, 8,700 people died as a result of drunk driving, and a further 5,900 accidents were caused in the same way [10].

Treating alcohol dependency

The facts and figures regarding the rate of alcohol misuse in the UK – as well as the impacts that this has on health and society – highlight just how important it is that those who need help with their alcohol usage seek treatment.

Across the UK, there are thousands of facilities that provide support and medical assistance for beating alcoholism. Alcohol rehab is a difficult process, but one that can change someone’s life and give them a chance at a healthy, stable life.

What does alcohol rehab involve?

Alcohol rehab is a treatment process that facilitates physical and psychological recovery from alcohol misuse, beginning with detox.

Detox involves individuals stopping their alcohol consumption and attempting to become sober under the supervision of a medical team. They are monitored to ensure their health is not threatened, and are provided medication where necessary.

Withdrawal symptoms for alcohol dependency are some of the most dangerous – potentially being fatal – and so medical professionals can provide Benzodiazepines which dampen these and provide relief for those trying to become sober.

Following detox, individuals go through several weeks of alcohol therapy. This shifts the focus of treatment onto the psychological and behavioural causes of alcohol misuse, providing individuals with ways of understanding and tackling these.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a popular form of therapy, that supports individuals in recognising harmful thought processes that consistently push them towards alcohol use, understanding what causes these, and developing ways of resisting their influence.

Following rehab, individuals also receive support regarding their return to everyday life. Relapse prevention strategies look to ensure that they maintain the progress they have made during treatment by preparing them for the return of their addictive triggers.

Getting help from Rehab Recovery

Alcohol misuse and dependency is something that impacts thousands of people across the UK. Drinking too much can put both an individual and the people around them in danger, so getting support as soon as possible is essential.

At Rehab Recovery, we understand that getting support can be daunting.

It’s clear from the statistics that not everyone, especially among the male population, seeks the help they need, and that’s why we are here to help.

If you need guidance, advice, or answers to your biggest questions, we are on hand to support you. Don’t hesitate to get in touch and call us on 0800 088 66 86.












Other Recent Articles

Subscribe to our newsletter