WOMEN’S DRINK DEATHS DOUBLE – AND MEN’S ARE DOUBLE AGAIN
Office for National Statistics shows 2,990 women and 5,768 men died last year from alcohol abuse.
Criticism continues for ministers who extended licensing hours despite evidence warning of its damaging consequences (including from Addiction Today journal), and enabling of the UK’s binge-drinking culture. But Alcohol Alliance campaigners state that cheap supermarket alcohol is at least to blame. As reported by Alcohol Concern CEO Srabani Sen in January 2008 Addiction Today journal, alcohol is now cheaper than bottled water and well within the price range of children’s pocket money.
Men are still drinking more than women, with the gap closing. But, while most women’s deaths are those aged 35-54, most men’s are from age 55 onward – which coincides with retirement age. This backs earlier ONS research showing that top executives drink more than anyone else.
A disproportionate percentage of women die from alcohol complications such as liver failure and hepatitis. “Women seem to be more susceptible to the damaging physical effects of alcohol,” commented Dr Ian Gilmore, president of the Royal College of Physicians. “My colleagues and I are seeing more young women with serious liver damage than ever before in our clinics.”
Professor Roger Williams, director of the Institute of Hepatology at University College London, added that “Women are equal with men in many respects – but there is a big difference in their tolerance levels. They are dying at a much earlier age.”
It is vital that the government invests more in alcohol treatment to help problem drinkers – and the families they affect.