Drinking-related deaths among 15- to 34-year-olds in the U.K. have doubled between 1991 and 2004, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The Independent reported Feb. 23 that 8,221 alcohol-related deaths were reported in 2004, not counting alcohol-related traffic crashes or injuries. Among the 2004 fatalities were 198 deaths from liver cirrhosis or alcohol poisoning among men and 89 such deaths among young women.
“Alcohol consumption is going up in Britain, and going down in countries such as France and Italy, because alcohol is cheaper and available at more outlets in this country than ever before,” said Institute of Alcohol Studies director Andrew McNeill. “We live in the age of 24-hour licensing and the booze cruise. The consequence is that younger and younger people are appearing in hospital with alcohol-related illnesses.”
The research report said the alcohol-related death rate was worst in Scotland. “Forty five Scots are now dying because of drink every single week,” noted Jack Law, CEO of Alcohol Focus Scotland. “We need to ask what is so different about Scotland’s drinking culture, compared with the rest of the UK.”