The number of alcohol-related deaths in young adults has almost
tripled in the past 20 years, suggesting an urgent need for a
national alcohol strategy.
Government statistics reveal that alcohol-related deaths among 15
to 44 year olds have increased significantly, accounting for 7 per
cent of adult men’s deaths and 6 per cent of women’s in 2001
compared with just 2 per cent in the early 1980s. Most of these
deaths were the result of chronic liver disease.
While deaths of people in the 15 to 44 age range account for fewer
than 5 per cent of all deaths each year, as many as a third are the
result of injury and poisoning and are therefore considered
The report by the Office for National Statistics concludes that,
while the number of deaths from transport accidents and disease has
gone down in young adults, this has been “offset” by increases in
deaths from suicide, and poisoning or injury through alcohol or
The government intends to launch its national alcohol strategy this
autumn, with plans for it to be implemented next year. An interim
report is expected soon.
Eric Appleby, chief executive of Alcohol Concern, said that the
findings suggested that heavy binge drinking was having long-term
health consequences. He said the drinking in Faliraki, which has
attracted so much press attention, was the extreme end of something
more widespread. He added that the government was under pressure
“to produce something with a bit of oomph”.
– Health Statistics Quarterly from www.statistics.gov.uk