Binge drinkers failing to heed dangers of booze

One in ten drinkers intends to consume the equivalent of 20 pints during a single night out, according to new research.

Twenty pints, more than forty units, is twice the weekly alcohol limit for men, and nearly three times the weekly limit for women.

This shocking figure was discovered by researchers who interviewed 214 drinkers on Saturday nights in Liverpool, Manchester and Chester.


During the interviews the researchers discovered that one in five drinkers had already downed more alcohol than is recommended for an entire week.

But by the time the drinkers headed home this figure was expected to surge to 61 per cent for men and 45 per cent for women.

Critics have warned that more needs to be done to reduce the amount of alcohol being consumed.


Professor Mark Bellis, leader of the research team, said: “The UK has a well established culture of heavy drinking in nightlife settings.

“Cities in the UK have adopted costly nightlife policing strategies aimed at protecting patrons from immediate alcohol-related harms by controlling violence and other anti-social behaviour.

“Implementing safety measures in nightlife environments is crucial to protecting public health, yet without reasonable efforts to reduce nightlife alcohol consumption, such measures may simply result in safer environments for drunks.”


And Don Shenker, chief executive of Alcohol Concern, expressed concern about the sheer volume of booze being consumed.

He said: “This study highlights the increasingly heavy drinking culture in the UK and the lack of understanding, or complete disregard for the potential health and social harms that can result.”

This shocking figure, which will fuel concern about the toll of binge-drinking on the nation’s health, was discovered by a team of researchers led by Prof Bellis from Liverpool John Moores University.


Last week former Metropolitan Police chief Sir Ian Blair, and BBC presenter John Humphrys condemned Labour’s introduction of 24-hour drinking.

Sir Ian described the policy of all-day drinking as a “serious mistake” while Mr Humphrys lambasted the alcohol-fuelled violence in his home city of Cardiff.

Last month a senior Labour MP warned that thousands of lives in England and Wales could be saved if minimum pricing was introduced.

Speaking in a Westminster debate Kevin Barron, chair of the House of Commons Health Select Committee, said: “It is estimated that a minimum price of 50p per unit of alcohol would save about 3,000 lives a year, and that a minimum price of 40p per unit of alcohol would save 1,100 lives a year.”

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