Alcohol-Related Deaths Nearly Double in Britain

The number of alcohol-related deaths in Britain has more than doubled since the early 1990s, official figures show. The Press Association writes that a total of 9,031 people died as a result of alcohol consumption in 2008, up from 4,023 in 1992, despite increased awareness of the harm drinking too much can cause.

Men are twice as likely to die from alcohol as women, and the male death rate has soared from 9.1 per 100,000 people in 1991 to 18.7 per 100,000 in 2008. Separate statistics showed that alcohol was a factor in almost 42,000 cases of children under 18 being admitted to English hospitals in the last three years.

The charity Drinkaware said the figures were "shocking", while the Conservatives said they demonstrated the Labour party’s "complete failure" to tackle binge-drinking.

Rates of alcohol-related deaths in the UK have doubled from 6.7 per 100,000 people in 1992 to 13.6 per 100,000 in 2008, according to an Office for National Statistics (ONS) report.

Between 2007 and 2008 alone, the number of people who died from alcohol abuse increased by 3.5 percent.

Chris Sorek, chief executive of Drinkaware, which is funded by the alcohol industry, said: "It’s shocking to discover that alcohol-related deaths are again on the increase, and it’s vital now, more than ever, that we act to reduce the harms caused by drinking too much. With more and more people dying from alcohol misuse it’s essential we change people’s relationship with drinking, and education has a key role to play."

Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said: "These worrying figures are a sad indictment of our broken society and demonstrate Labour’s complete failure to tackle binge-drinking. Labour’s irresponsible decision to roll out 24-hour drinking on our towns and communities while at the same time failing to deal with the problems caused by over-drinking has caused great harm, particularly amongst younger people."

A Department of Health spokesman said: "We are going to be looking closely at the increase in the number of alcohol-related deaths at a time when the amount people are drinking is reducing. No one thing will solve the complex challenge of alcohol abuse, which is why the Government is taking action on all fronts including better information, banning irresponsible promotions (such as women drinking for free) and treatment, advice and support."