Statistics on Alcohol: England, 2011

These statistics were published in May 2011.

“Summary

This statistical report acts as a reference point for health issues relating to alcohol use and misuse, providing information obtained from a number of sources in a user-friendly format. It covers topics such as drinking habits and behaviours among adults (aged 16 and over) and school children (aged 11 to 15), drinking-related ill health and mortality, affordability of alcohol and alcohol-related costs. The report contains previously published information and also includes additional new analyses. The new analyses are mainly obtained from The NHS Information Centre’s Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES) system and Prescribing data. The report also include up to date information on the latest alcohol related government policies and targets and contains links to further sources of useful information.

Key facts

  • In England, in 2009, 69 per cent of men and 55 per cent of women (aged 16 and over) reported drinking an alcoholic drink on at least one day in the week prior to interview. 10 per cent of men and 6 per cent of women reported drinking on every day in the previous week.
  • There has been an increase from 54 per cent in 1997 to 75 per cent in 2009 in the percentage of people in Great Britain who had heard of daily drinking limits. Throughout the period, differences between men and women have been slight.
  • In 2007, 33 per cent of men and 16 per cent of women (24 per cent of adults) were classified as hazardous drinkers. This includes 6 per cent of men and 2 per cent of women estimated to be harmful drinkers, the most serious form of hazardous drinking, which means that damage to health is likely.
  • Among adults aged 16 to 74, 9 per cent of men and 4 per cent of women showed some signs of alcohol dependence. The prevalence of alcohol dependence is slightly lower for men than it was in 2000 when 11.5 per cent of men showed some signs of dependence. There was no significant change for women between 2000 and 2007.
  • In 2009/10, there were 1,057,000 alcohol related admissions to hospital. This is an increase of 12 per cent on the 2008/09 figure (945,500) and more than twice as many as in 2002/03 (510,800).
  • In 2010, there were 160,181 prescription items for drugs for the treatment of alcohol dependency prescribed in primary care settings or NHS hospitals and dispensed in the community. This is an increase of 6 per cent on the 2009 figure (150,445) and an increase of 56 per cent on the 2003 figure (102,741).
  • In 2010, 290 prescription items per 100,000 population were dispensed for alcohol dependency in England. Among Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs) this varied from 515 and 410 items per 100,000 population in North West SHA and North East SHA respectively, to 130 items per 100,000 population in London SHA.”
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