06 Feb 2024

Welcome to an in-depth exploration of alcohol addiction statistics in the United Kingdom. In this article, we delve into various aspects of alcohol consumption, its impact on health, the challenges of alcohol dependence, and the available treatment options. All the statistics presented here are sourced from reputable databases and studies to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Alcohol Consumption in the UK

Total Alcohol Consumption

Today, average consumption per adult is about 9.7 litres of pure alcohol per year – or about 18 units a week. There is no reason to think that drinking behaviours are fixed or unchanging.

  • In 2019, 48% of adults (aged 16+) reported drinking alcohol at least once a week.
  • 55% of males reported drinking alcohol at least once a week compared to 41% of females.
  • 8% of males reported drinking alcohol almost every day compared to 5% of females.
  • From 2021 to 2022, there were 342,795 hospital admissions that were wholly due to alcohol. This equates to a rate of 626 per 100,000 population.

Consumption by Age

Consumption by Region

  • Highest alcohol consumption: East of England
  • Lowest alcohol consumption: Wales

Alcohol and Health

Health Impact Statistics

According to a new study by researchers from Oxford Population Health and Peking University:

  • Among 207 diseases studied, self-reported alcohol intake was associated with higher risks of 61 diseases in men. This included 28 diseases previously established by the World Health Organization as alcohol-related, such as liver cirrhosis, stroke, and several gastrointestinal cancers, and 33 diseases not previously established as alcohol-related, such as gout, cataract, some fractures, and gastric ulcer.
  • Certain drinking patterns, such as drinking daily, drinking in heavy “binge” episodes, or drinking outside mealtimes, particularly increased the risks of certain diseases, particularly liver cirrhosis.

Impact on the Brain

Over half of all dependent drinkers are likely to experience alcohol related cognitive impairment.

Learn more about spotting alcoholism in your loved ones.

Alcohol Dependence

Prevalence and Challenges

Normal Drinking Habits

  • According to the NHS, it’s recommended no more than 14 units of alcohol a week, spread across 3 days or more. That's around 6 medium (175ml) glasses of wine, or 6 pints of 4% beer.

Gender Breakdown

  • More men than women were admitted to hospital where the main reason was attributable to alcohol - 65% of the patients were male.
  • The number of hospital admissions in 2021 - 2022 wholly due to alcohol in men during this time period was double the figure for women (232,783 and 110,012 respectively).

Explore more on alcohol addiction.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment

There are various different treatment options for alcohol addiction. These may include:

To find out more about our treatments and therapies available visit our Addiction Treatments and Therapies page here.

Find the Right Support for Alcohol Addiction

In summary, the statistics paint a comprehensive picture of alcohol addiction in the UK. If you or someone you know is struggling, there are effective and proven treatments available. Whether it's detox, rehabilitation, or ongoing support, speaking to a medical professional or specialist like Rehabs UK is the first step towards recovery.

Remember, the journey to recovery starts with seeking help. Contact Rehabs UK to help guide you through every step.