Booze Causes One in Eight UK Deaths Under 64

By McCarton Ackerman 05/17/12

Britain suffers a particularly heavy alcohol toll, even for the world's heaviest-drinking continent.

Brits need to challenge this stereotype. Photo via

The UK is officially drinking itself to death. A conference of addiction specialists from across the world at Newcastle University revealed that one in eight deaths of British adults under the age of 64 is a result of excessive drinking. The event's organizers are now calling for a UK ban on advertising alcohol, and for the rest of the country to follow Scotland by setting a minimum price per unit on alcoholic drinks. "Alcohol costs the UK so much in so many ways, both in financial and social impacts," says Professor Eileen Kaner, director of the Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University. "Governments need to have a clear and unbiased view of the most up-to-date research on alcohol problems and be bolder about tackling some of the root causes such as overly cheap alcohol and irresponsible marketing that encourages heavy drinking." Alcohol consumption across Europe is more than double the global average and the social cost of alcohol abuse has been estimated at around $380 per year per European—with the annual bill for Britain's National Health Service alone over $4.2 billion.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.