British people get drunk and use cocaine more often than any other nation in the world

By Lloyd Bent
Thursday, 16 May, 2019, 10:51

Drinkers in the UK get drunk more often than any other country in the world, a global survey has found.

According to the report, which assessed 36 different countries, British people get drunk an average of 51.1 times per year - which is almost once a week.

The Global Drug Survey, which assessed more than 120,000 substance users worldwide, found the global average number of times people got drunk to be 33 times in a 12 month period.

British people get drunk on average almost once a week

It reported that the average in the US is 50 times a year, while in Canada it is 48. Countries such as Chile had a much lower average of 16 times a year.

And the UK did not only top the list for drinking. England was found to have the highest rate of cocaine use out of all the countries assessed.

Of those surveyed, 74% of English participants said they had tried cocaine at some point in their lives.

The global average is 43%. Use of the drug by English people in the last year was also high, having jumped from 43% in 2018’s survey to 64% this year.

Majority of British participants had tried cocaine

Researchers in London surveyed 5,670 people from England, 566 from Scotland and tens of thousands worldwide between 29 October and 30 December last year.

The report did not provide a breakdown of the number of people surveyed in Northern Ireland and Wales.

In spite of the results, the study comes during a downward trend in drinking in the UK, with abstention being increasingly popular among young adults.

British drinking habits are dangerous

Global Drug Survey founder Professor Adam Winstock said that while more people were abstaining from drinking alcohol, many who were drinking are doing so in a way that was potentially dangerous.

He told the Press Association: “We get told too much is bad, and it is, but current guidelines fail to accept the pleasure of intoxication and give little guide on the difference between being a little drunk and a lot drunk, and doing it three to four times a year versus weekly. We need to have that conversation.

“In the UK we don’t tend to do moderation, we end up getting drunk as the point of the evening.

“Until culture changes and we become more European and moderate in our drinking, we might have to bite the bullet and think about how to advise people to get drunk drinking less.”

At the moment, NHS guidelines state that there is no safe level of drinking and that men and women should not drink more than 14 units of alcohol per week.

This is the equivalent of about six pints of beer. There are no plans to amend these guidelines.

Hospitalisations due to cocaine use

Meanwhile, official figures show that in the last decade the number of admissions to hospital because of mental or behavioural issues linked to cocaine use has almost trebled.

NHS digital data has shown that between 2017-18 there were 14,470 admissions.

The number had increased year on year, with the figure for 2007-08 being 5,148. The figures did not distinguish between powdered cocaine and crack cocaine.

This article originally appeared on our sister website the Yorkshire Evening Post.