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UK drinkers get drunk more often than anywhere else in the world, survey finds

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 15/5/2019 James Morris
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Drinkers in the UK get drunk more often than anywhere else in the world, a global survey has found.

Brits reported getting drunk an average of 51.1 times in a 12-month period - almost once a week.

Researchers said it may be time to introduce guidelines on how to get drunk safely.

The study of 36 countries comes amid an overall downward trend of drinking in the UK.

But Prof Adam Winstock, founder of the Global Drug Survey, said that while fewer people are drinking, those that do drink are doing so in a potentially harmful way.

He said: “In the UK we don't tend to do moderation, we end up getting drunk as the point of the evening.

"Until culture changes and we become more European and moderate in our drinking, we might have to bite the bullet and think about how to advise people to get drunk drinking less.

"Getting drunk carries risks of injury and health harm, but we need to start highlighting the risks at different levels of drinking even if they are above safe limits."

The survey also found the UK is second behind Australia in how many people sought emergency treatment following alcohol consumption.

Current NHS guidelines say there is no "safe" level of drinking and that men and women should not drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week on a regular basis - around six pints of beer.

Researchers in London surveyed 5,400 people from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and more than 120,000 globally between October 29 and December 30 last year.

Additional reporting by Press Association.

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