Back in 2019 research revealed by The Guardian ( 5 July) showed that one in ten people in a hospital bed in the UK are alcohol-dependent, and one in five inpatients are doing themselves harm by their drinking.
While it is estimated that heavy drinking costs the NHS £3.5bn a year, the numbers of people treated has been unclear. But a major review published in the journal Addiction has collated 124 previous studies involving 1.6 million hospital inpatients and shows that 20% use alcohol harmfully while 10% are dependent. More than 80 people die every day in the UK from alcohol abuse. Cuts to alcohol services in the NHS and the community have made the situation worse, it says. (The Guardian 5 July 2019). Below are some statistics:
- The average American drinks 470 pints of beer in a year.
- Thirty-seven percent of the American population abstain from drinking altogether.
- 4,328 pensioners in Britain received care for drinking problems in 2018/2019.
- 15.1 million adults in the US suffer from alcohol use disorder. That’s 6.2% of the total population.
- A quarter of Americans try alcohol before they turn the age of 18.
- Americans drank around 9.5 liters of alcohol in a year – the same as 31 glasses of wine.
It is no surprise that alcohol consumption has only increased over the years. When you compare the figures with the last decade, it’s easy to see that alcohol consumption has risen sharply in both countries.
My comment: Epicurus is, maybe, best known for his advocacy of moderation. I would suggest that a glass of wine at dinner time is fine. Much more than that becomes self-destructive.