If one glass of wine often leads to a whole bottle, it might be time to reassess. New research shows that alcohol abuse is killing a growing number of British women - from their teens into middle-age
Statistics suggest alcohol abuse may kill up to 250,000 Brits over the next two decades unless the government introduces tougher policies to curb binge drinking.
More worryingly, the number of deaths from alcohol abuse among women aged between 15 and 34 doubled from 1991 to 2009.
Many of us are using ‘self-medicating’ according to the new study – using alcohol as a coping mechanism to deal with traumatic or stressful circumstances or as a relaxant after a hard day.
Jessie Joe Jacobs from the charity A Way Out, says: ‘Unless the trend starts to turn, we’re going to see more women losing their lives through alcohol.’
While the death rate from alcohol-related illness has risen steeply in the UK over the last 20 years, the rates have remained low in Sweden, Norway, Australia and New Zealand, where the cultures and drinking styles are similar.
Jacobs blames cheap drink deals for the rise in alcohol abuse among British women: ‘We need to look at the pricing structure for alcohol. The statistics are suggesting the problem is getting worse and we really need to stop and look at our attitude towards alcohol.’
Experts believe that reversing the rise in alcohol-related deaths will require radical measures including the introduction of a minimum price of 50 pence per unit of alcohol and tighter restrictions on sales and advertising.
Sir Ian Gilmore, former president of the Royal College of Physicians says: ‘We already know from the international evidence that the main ways to reduce alcohol consumption are to increase the price and reduce the availability of alcohol, yet the Government continues to discuss implementing marginal measures while ignoring this evidence.’