Drinkaware comments on ONS alcohol death statistics

Date Published

8th December 2022






“These statistics are absolutely devastating, each number masking an individual family tragedy.

“It is unacceptable that in one of the richest countries in the world, the rate of alcohol related deaths were four times higher among men in the poorest areas compared to the most affluent.

“We also know that the heaviest drinkers drank more during the pandemic, and warning signs were missed as people saw each other less and were less able to access support. This created a perfect storm and we are now seeing the consequences.

“Drinkaware urges the Health Secretary to come together with experts to create a new coordinated UK wide alcohol strategy to reduce the damage alcohol does to individuals, our public services and to wider society. And this new strategy must address these shocking health disparities.”

1. Drinkaware has spokespeople available for interview. Please email mediateam@drinkaware.co.uk

2. Find the ONS stats for alcohol deaths in 2021.

3. Drinkaware analysis of the data shows that numbers of men in the most deprived neighbourhoods in England who died from diseases known to be a direct consequence of alcohol are 4 times higher than those in the least deprived neighbourhoods.

2021 alcohol-specific deaths in the UK, ONS

4. What we are seeing with regards to the disparity between the least deprived vs most deprived areas is known as the ‘alcohol harm paradox’. It means that adults who live in the UK's most deprived areas are likely to not drink alcohol at all, and to drink less frequently, but yet rates of hospital admissions and deaths from alcohol are much higher in those same areas. Read Drinkaware's report on this issue.

5. The CMO states that ill health and disease concentrating in areas of deprivation is long-standing and needs to be tackled. Describing and deploring it is not enough; we need to have actionable plans to improve it.