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Alcohol Facts & Statistics

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Alcohol Facts & Statistics
Updated on 16/09/2021
Medically reviewed by
Dr Alexander Lapa (Psychiatrist)

When consumed in moderation, drinking alcohol does not pose a risk.

However, as more than 17% of adults who consume alcohol admit to binge drinking [2], and one in ten peopleacross the nation are alcohol dependent [3], alcohol use, abuse, and dependencies continue to have a widespread effect on the lives of millions.

To offer greater insight into alcohol use, the impact alcohol has, and the treatment available for alcohol addictions, we have shared a wealth of alcohol facts & statistics here.

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Alcohol and Physical HealthWhat are the main alcohol withdrawal symptoms

From damaging the heart to increasing the risk of liver disease and cancer, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism [4] confirms that drinking too much alcohol gradually comes to take a toll on an individual’s physical health.

However, due to the euphoric sensations that come hand-in-hand with consuming alcohol, many individuals overlook the impact alcohol has on their physical health.  Regrettably, this has seen the number of people requiring medical treatment soar.

Each year, the NHS reports that 358,000 hospital admissions are made due to using and abusing alcohol. [5] Approximately 23% of admissions are made for unintentional injuries [6] sustained.  Meanwhile, cancer, liver disease and cardiovascular disease are all cited as conditions caused by drinking alcohol.

In addition to the above, physical health complications that arise when alcohol is used and abused include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Digestive problems
  • Stroke
  • Brain damage
  • Infertility
  • Pancreatitis

Although treatment is available for the physical health complications of alcohol abuse, 5,460 alcohol-related deaths are recorded almost every year. [7]

Alcohol and Mental Health

Alcohol, like many other substances, is often consumed recreationally in social settings. However, a large proportion of people that drink alcohol do so to relieve symptoms associated with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and stress. [8]

As the effects of alcohol wear off, mental health disorders intensify and are known to become considerably worse. Below, we have outlined several alcohol facts & statistics that offer insight into alcohol and mental health.

When alcohol is consumed to alleviate mental health disorders, dual diagnosis treatment is the most suitable treatment option. This treatment ensures that individuals can withdraw from alcohol and overcome mental health disorders simultaneously.

Without dual diagnosis treatment, individuals who consume alcohol to relieve mental health disorders are more likely to attempt or commit suicide due to their inability to cope. [12]

Alcohol and Other Substances

Addiction Advocates HelplineThe Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration confirmed that individuals who use and abuse alcohol often consume drugs and prescription medication.

Mixing alcohol with other substances is extremely dangerous and puts strain on the heart [13] and other vital organs.

When unable to cope with the effect of alcohol and other substances such as heroin and cocaine, the body goes into shock, which ultimately leads to death.

Treatment Options For Alcohol Addiction

Across the United Kingdom, alcohol addiction treatment is widely available.  However, only 268,251 adults contact an alcohol rehab to secure treatment. 

Without professional treatment, alcohol addictions are impossible to overcome and, as noted above, lead to a plethora of physical and mental health problems.

To ensure that alcohol addiction treatment can be accessed when needed, NHS rehabs and private rehabs offer various life-saving treatment options.

Support Groups

NHS Rehabs and Treatment 

The treatment provided by NHS rehabs depends on the severity of an individual’s addiction and recovery goals.  However, those who attend an NHS rehab often encounter the following treatments:

  • Counselling sessions
  • Alcohol support groups
  • Detoxification
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Medication

NHS treatment is provided on an outpatient basis and is free of charge.  Offering greater flexibility, NHS treatment requires less commitment than private rehab treatment does.

 

Private Rehabs and Treatment

Although attending an NHS rehab for treatment helps many overcome their alcohol addiction, demand for private rehabilitation and treatment is at an all-time high.

Administered on an inpatient basis, private rehabs, or residential rehabs as they are otherwise known, offer the following treatment options to those struggling with alcohol addictions:

The treatment an individual undergoes during their time in a private rehab will depend on the severity of their addiction, the physical effects and the impact alcohol has had on their mental health.

Contact Us Today

Get In Touch TodayWhen an alcohol addiction impacts an individual’s life, alcohol addiction treatment must be sought via a professional treatment provider.

Ensuring that those in need of treatment can refer themselves to a suitable rehab within a short space of time, our referral service has helped thousands of individuals obtain alcohol addiction treatment.

Whether you would like to refer yourself for treatment or hope to refer a loved one for treatment, contact us by calling 0800 012 6088 today.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Main Causes Of An Alcohol Addiction?
Mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, are cited as causes of alcohol addictions. Genetics, social pressure, and environmental factors also contribute to the likelihood that an individual will become addicted to alcohol.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of An Alcohol Addiction?
Some of the common signs and symptoms of an alcohol addiction include nausea, headaches, intense cravings, insomnia, anxiety, paranoia, changes in appearance, weight loss, physical illnesses, increased heart rate and high blood pressure.
When To Seek Treatment For Alcoholism?
When an alcohol addiction impairs an individual’s life, treatment must be sought as soon as possible. Though many believe that addiction treatment can only be secured when an addiction affects their every waking moment, this is not true. Seeking alcohol addiction treatment as soon as any of the signs and symptoms of alcoholism arise is encouraged. Not only does this ensure that treatment can be administered when required, but it prevents alcoholism from escalating beyond control.

References

  • [1] more than 29 million people over the age of 16 drink alcohol each year - https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/drugusealcoholandsmoking/bulletins/opinionsandlifestylesurveyadultdrinkinghabitsingreatbritain/2005to2016
  • [2] more than 17% of adults who consume alcohol admit to binge drinking - https://www.statista.com/topics/3281/alcohol-use-in-the-united-kingdom/
  • [3] one in ten peopleacross the nation are alcohol dependent - https://www.alcoholpolicy.net/stats-figures/
  • [4] National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism - https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohols-effects-health/alcohols-effects-body
  • [5] 358,000 hospital admissions are made due to using and abusing alcohol. - https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/statistics-on-alcohol/2020
  • [6] 23% of admissions are made for unintentional injuries - https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/statistics-on-alcohol/2020/part-1
  • [7] 5,460 alcohol-related deaths are recorded almost every year. - https://www.bmj.com/content/372/bmj.n317
  • [8] people that drink alcohol do so to relieve symptoms associated with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and stress. - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3658562/
  • [9] eople with anxiety are 41% more likely to consume alcohol. - https://www.nyu.edu/about/news-publications/news/2021/january/alcohol-use-covid-19.html
  • [10] 17% of alcohol-related hospital admissions. - https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/statistics-on-alcohol/2020/part-1
  • [11] 55% of individuals that consume alcohol require alcohol addiction treatment and mental health treatment. - https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/11/17/alcohol-dependence-and-mental-health/
  • [12] more likely to attempt or commit suicide due to their inability to cope. - https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh26-2/90-98.htm
  • [13] puts strain on the heart - https://young.scot/get-informed/national/what-will-happen-if-i-mix-drugs-and-alcohol
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Seth is an author, addiction recovery expert and fully accredited member of the national counselling society. He has experience working with a wide range of addictions and mental illnesses using a number of evidence-based therapies and programmes such as the SMART models of addiction recovery.

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