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Horrifying Habits: Excessive Alcohol


With Christmas a mere seven days away, families in the United Kingdom are stocking up on tasty snacks and boozy bottles for the festivities. With wine, spirits, and pre-made bucks fizz jumping off supermarket shelves, alcohol consumption in the United Kingdom has become alarming.

Doctor Amy de la Garza, the director of Novamind Psychiatry Clinics, told Healthline Magazine, “Since the start of the [COVID-19] pandemic we have seen a dramatic rise in risky drinking and conversion to alcohol use disorder.” Moreover, this dramatic rise only increases over the festive period. Therefore, this article highlights the statistics of dangerous drinking in the United Kingdom.

A Government report conducts a quantitative investigation into the consumption of alcohol throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

This investigation found that after the first lockdown ended, alcohol sales continued to be higher than the previous year. Furthermore, when the second national lockdown was enforced in November 2020, sales increased by 37.9% in comparison to November 2019. During the third lockdown in January 2021, alcohol consumption increased further. In addition, the UK Government found that between 2019 and 2020, there was an increase of 31.2% in wine consumption and a 26.2% increase in the consumption of spirits.

Furthermore, according to the, in 2021, medical prescriptions for alcohol dependence increased. Although, it is noteworthy that this number is 15% less than prescribed medicines in 2014/2015.  Despite the improvement, these numbers are consistently alarming.

Alcohol Change UK has estimated that there are 602,391 dependent drinkers. These scary statistics are reflected in the number of deaths due to alcohol. In 2020, during the pandemic, there were 8,974 deaths caused by alcohol consumption.

With this qualitative data available, the  University of Exeter is researching a new cure for alcohol dependence syndrome. Their latest trial has reached stage III, which intends to build on the foundations that stage II set for this research. The practice focuses on using ketamine–assisted therapy to cure alcoholism.

The proposed trial will include 280 people with alcohol dependence syndrome. The test consists of two variables; half of the patients will be given ketamine-assisted therapy, whereas the remaining half will be given low-dosage and educational packages on alcoholism. Comparing these two groups, researchers will be able to determine their hypothesis.

Professor Celia Morgan, the lead researcher in this project, states that “we hope we can begin to see it used in NHS settings.” This would allow the National Health Service to save an estimated £3.5 billion on alcohol-related treatments.

In conclusion, since shocking statistics have been published regarding alcohol consumption in the United Kingdom, the University of Exeter has taken it upon itself to remedy this problem. In the hope that the trial fulfils the University’s hypothesis, the United Kingdom could become a healthier country, erasing the need to drink among alcohol-dependent individuals.


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