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Warning over alcohol intake surge

The amount Britons drink has surged in recent decades, fuelled by plummeting prices and more women bingeing on alcohol.

Awareness groups have warned for some time that consumption of alcohol is rising and that the number of booze-related deaths will continue to increase unless action is taken.

Alison Rogers, chief executive of the British Liver Trust, said there are cultural factors linked to the amount Britons drink, and a certain amount of bravado.”

She said: “It does seem to be something that’s related to Northern European countries. And certainly the idea that Tony Blair’s Government had about liberalising drinking laws has not worked, it’s backfired.

“We have to be very wary about liberalising alcohol laws. It’s not helping us in the UK. Liver disease is going up, it’s the only big killer that’s still on the rise.

“There is a lot of bravado about drinking too much. In other countries it’s just frowned upon, even among young people it’s seen as a bit immature. In this country it’s a badge of honour.”

She branded the plethora of cheap drinks offers in supermarkets “a nightmare for this country”.

Ms Rogers said: “The rise of cheap drinks being sold in supermarkets is a nightmare for this country. The fact that our pubs are closing is not great because that was a much more regulated, social environment for drinking. This Government has systematically failed to get a grip on the problem.”

According to the trust, the number of deaths from liver disease in the UK has risen by 12% in the last three years.

Chief Executive of Alcohol Concern Don Shenker said that the falling price of alcohol in recent decades had boosted the amount Britons drink. He said: “The attitude that has been created is that alcohol is an ordinary commodity. Now we can buy alcohol in supermarkets it’s all over the place, it’s not separated off any more.”

source: Press Association

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