The report, authored by Professor Nick Sheron at the University of Southampton, says these ‘problem drinkers’ are worth a staggering £23.7 billion to the alcohol industry.
Sheron is also the founder of the Alcohol Health Alliance (AHA).
The study analysed data from the Health Survey for England.
The £24 billion disgrace
Sheron’s report proves beyond doubt that ‘problem drinkers’ are key to the continued growth of the alcohol industry.
The report says 38% of alcohol sold in England is consumed by ‘increasing risk’ drinkers.
Many of these people are binge drinkers, whilst others suffer from chronic alcoholism.
A recent Office of National Statistics report illustrates a rise in the number of alcohol-related deaths during 2014.
This is the first increase since 2008.
What is a ‘risky drinker’?
To be considered an ‘increasing risk’ drinker, the person must drink more than 50 units per week for a man or more than 35 units per week for a woman.
This is the equivalent to around one 70cl bottle of vodka.
The Government encourages people not to drink more than 14 units per week for both sexes (revised: January 2016).
How alcohol damages the body
Binge drinking and chronic alcoholism are well known for the negative health problems they inflict.
In a recent article, we discuss at great length the health effects alcohol has on the body.
Just to recap, excessive alcohol consumption causes liver damage, cancer and diabetes.
It’s estimated around 10.8 million Brits drink too much alcohol.
The extent of the problem
Public Health England says around 1.5 million Brits suffer from chronic alcoholism.
Plus the NHS must attend to around 1 million A&E admissions each year that resulted from excessive alcohol consumption. Hospital-related health admissions have doubled over the last decade.
The cost of the problem
The NHS says alcohol-related admissions cost the public purse more than £3 billion in 2014.
The culpability of the alcohol industry
The results of the study may come as no surprise to many in the health industry. Recent news has even revealed the alcohol industry targets children via their Smartphones.
The alcohol industry employs Government lobbyists to prevent the enactment of laws which would truly protect those of us who are vulnerable to alcohol abuse and alcoholism.
The alcohol industry is currently suing the Scottish Government for its plan to introduce ‘minimum unit pricing’ and the UK Government U-turned on such a policy back in 2011 following pressure from the alcohol industry.
The Government’s current ‘minimum unit advice’ policy is widely criticised for being a smokescreen for inaction.
Many of these ‘problem drinkers’ consume drinks specifically catering for their ‘needs.’ This includes drinks such as Special Brew and strong white cider. Because of their high alcohol content, these drinks would be most affected by a policy of ‘minimum unit pricing.’
Learn more about Cassiobury Court’s alcohol help centre by dialling free on .