Alcohol is the leading risk factor for death, ill-health and disability amongst 15-49-year-olds worldwideSource
Public Health England (2016). The public health burden of alcohol and the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of alcohol control policies.
Approximately 70 people in the UK die every day from an alcohol-related causeSource
The UK wide estimate comes from summating the most recent estimates from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales: Public Health England (accessed October 2021), Local Alcohol Profiles for England; Scottish Public Health Authority (2018). Hospital admissions, deaths and overall burden of disease attributable to alcohol consumption in Scotland; Public Health Wales Observatory (accessed July 2020). Alcohol in Wales; Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (2019). Alcohol-specific deaths registered in Northern Ireland (2018).
Alcohol is a causal factor in more than 200 different diseases and injuriesSource
World Health Organisation (September 2018). Fact sheets: alcohol.
Alcohol caused 16,800 cases of cancer in the UK in 2020, the equivalent of 46 cases per daySource
Rumgay, H. et al. (2021). Global burden of cancer in 2020 attributable to alcohol consumption: a population-based study. The Lancet.
Recovery and treatment
In England, every £1 invested in alcohol treatment yields £3 of social returnSource
Public Health England (2018). Alcohol and drug prevention, treatment and recovery: why invest?
In England, only one in five dependent drinkers are predicted to be in treatmentSource
Public Health England (2017, accessed Nov. 2019). Public health dashboard.
In England, 53% of police time is spent dealing with alcohol-related caseworkSource
The Institute of Alcohol Studies (2015). Alcohol’s impact on emergency services.
Families and children
In England, approximately 200,000 children are predicted to live with an alcohol dependent parentSource
Range of 189,200-207,600. Pryce, R. et al. (2017). Estimates of alcohol dependence in England based on APMS 2014, including estimates of children living in a household with an adult with alcohol dependence. University of Sheffield and Kings College London.
Cost to society
The cost of alcohol to the UK has been estimated to be at least £27 billion a yearSource
A rapid evidence review of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of alcohol control policies: an English perspective. The Lancet
Alcohol costs NHS England £3.5 billion annuallySource
Home Office (2012). Impact assessment: a minimum unit price for alcohol.