Alcohol-related deaths: 'Will take time' to fall significantly

By Oli Gross

- Last updated on GMT

Alcohol-related deaths: 'Will take time' to fall significantly

Related tags Alcohol-related deaths Death

Pubs have been hailed for their role in promoting responsible drinking, and championed as helpful environments to reverse a long-term rise in alcohol-related deaths.

A study from the Office of National Statistics released last week found there were 8,697 alcohol-related deaths in the UK in 2014, at a rate of 14.3 deaths per 100,000 people.

The rate has fallen since a peak rate of 15.8 in 2008, but it was 11.2 in 2000 and as low as 9.1 in 1994 – meaning the rate has risen almost 60% in two decades.

Work and investment

The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers has hailed the investment made by the industry to promote responsible drinking.

Chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “Operators can be proud of themselves for helping to deliver a valuable public health outcome. Falls in alcohol-related deaths vindicate the work and investment put in by licensed hospitality operators.”

Though the decline since 2008 is encouraging, the industry is still fighting to drive the figures down to match the rates of the ’90s.

“Arresting these long-term trends take time, but consumption data shows that younger people are drinking less than their parents and are less likely to binge drink,” Nicholls said.
“It will take time for the many measures put in place by our industry to help bring the numbers back to — and then below — the levels of two decades ago.”


Statistics also found that the majority of alcohol-related deaths (65%) in the UK in 2014 were men.

The highest rates were among men aged 60-64, at 47.6 deaths per 100,000. Alcohol education charity Drinkaware said this was likely to be due to cumulative damage to the liver.

For both sexes, Scotland had the highest alcohol-related death rates in 2014, however it has also seen the fastest decrease in its rates since they peaked.


Alcohol-related death rates for both sexes were also significantly higher in the north of England than the south in 2014.

The British Beer & Pub Association highlighted how unhealthy drinking has, as a whole, been in decline in recent years.

A spokesman said: “These latest figures mirror the fact harmful drinking has been falling. From 2005–2013, men drinking over the guidelines dropped from 41% to 34% and women from 33% to 26%.”

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