Middle Classes Excess Drinking
Higher levels of drinking in affluent areas is highlighted in a recent study. One of the reasons being given is that they can afford too, also that they have more stressful lives. The drinking culture is also more acceptable in certain areas.
Those living in relatively affluent areas of England are more likely to be consuming "hazardous" levels of alcohol than poorer neighbours, a study says.
Hazardous drinking - consuming between 22 and 50 units per week - was highest in the Surrey area of Runnymede and lowest in the London borough of Newham.
The Liverpool John Moores University study found "harmful" levels - above 50 units - highest in poorer areas.
Manchester topped this table with Winchester in the lowest position.
Some 909 per 100,000 hospital admissions among men are now attributable to alcohol, up from just 836 a year ago. Among women, 510 admissions are put down to alcohol, up from 466.
At 26.4 per cent of adults drinking at hazardous levels, Runnymede, covering Surrey towns such as Chertsey, Guildford and Virginia Water, topped the league table, alongside Harrogate, in North Yorkshire.
The lowest percentage of hazardous drinkers was found in relatively deprived Newham, in east London, at 14.1 per cent.
Figures for local authorities in England show the percentage of adults regularly drinking at "hazardous" levels - between 22 to 50 units a week for men and 15 to 35 for women - ranges from 14.1% to 26.4%.
In the past 25 years, largely as a result of rising disposable income, alcohol has become 62 per cent more affordable.
Brits downed an estimated 33 million pints over the weekend of sporting triumph – 12 million more than normal – as England’s rugby and football teams tasted success.
Public health minister Dawn Primarolo, said: “We need to be clear that the figures out today are for all alcohol related hospital admissions, not casualty figures.
“Most of these are not young people, they are ’everyday’ drinkers who have drunk too much for too long. This has to change."
Mark Bellis, director of the North West Public Health Observatory, said: "Across England around one in five adults are drinking enough to put their health at significant risk and one in 20 enough to make disease related to alcohol consumption practically inevitable.
"We need to tackle binge drinking and all the short term social and health consequences associated with such behaviour. However, in order to stop further increases in alcohol-related deaths and admission to hospital, we must also reverse the tolerance most communities have built up by simply consuming too much alcohol on a weekly basis."
Areas of excess
The 10 Local Authority Areas with the highest levels of hazardous drinking, as a percentage of adults aged 16+
Surrey Heath 26.0
Mid Sussex 25.5
Mole Valley 25.5
The league tables
The ten local authority areas with the lowest levels of hazardous drinking, as a percentage of adults aged 16+
Barking and Dagenham 16.1
Tower Hamlets 15.9
Waltham Forest 15.3
The ten local authority areas with the highest levels of harmful drinking, as a percentage of adults aged 16+
Kingston upon Hull 7.1
The ten local authority areas with the lowest levels of harmful drinking, as a percentage of adults aged 16+
East Dorset 3.5
Ribble Valley 3.4
South Northamptonshire 3.4
North Norfolk 3.3
West Devon 3.2