A new analysis of data around Europe’s drinking habits has found that the UK isn’t actually the worst country in Europe when it comes to charting dangerous relationships with alcohol – although we do still make the ‘top’ three.
The report, by private rehab clinic Delamere, rated each European country out of 70, to try and determine roughly how impacted by binge drinking every location was, taking into consideration elements such as alcohol deaths per 100,000 people and alcohol consumption, as well as the number of bars and clubs and alcohol tours. Germany and France came out as the worst offenders, with the UK, Poland and Spain making up the rest of the top five.
As well as taking into consideration alcohol-related deaths, alcoholism and average alcohol consumption, the research notes how commonplace online searches for ‘alcohol’ and ‘alcohol delivery’ are (when checked in local languages) as well as how many bars, clubs and alcohol tours there are.
While ‘Boozy Brits’ are often highlighted as Europe’s worst offenders when it comes to binge drinking, alcohol-related death rates and typical alcohol consumption are noted as being much higher in Germany, which pushes the country into top spot despite the UK having far more bars and clubs, and far more regular online searches for alcohol.
Poland, in fourth position, has a shockingly high death rate and far higher instance of alcoholism than any of the top three countries, and presumably misses out on the unwanted accolade of being a top 3 binge drinking country only because of the far lower number of drinking venues, alcohol-related tourism and searches.
The UK’s booziest cities
It’s not much of a surprise to see that if you drill down into the city-specific data, London takes the crown as the UK’s most booze-soaked destination, with figures for the capital city boosted not just by the sheer population of London as a whole, but likely also by the amount of tourism to the area. Notably, four of the top five cities in Delamere’s dangerous drinking chart are well-known stag and hen party destinations: London, Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool.
Tips on How to Combat Binge Drinking
With excessive consumption of alcohol on the rise throughout the EU, there has never been a better time to focus on tackling the issue head-on. Delamere Founder and Chief Executive Martin Preston, shared his thoughts on how to combat binge drinking habits:
“One of the most helpful things to do when it comes to binge drinking is to share your issue. This allows you to slightly alleviate the pressure on your shoulders – even if it is by a small amount. It could also be useful to have a support system, and somebody that you can call in your darkest hours, that can talk you off the ledge when you feel helpless.
“Another tried and tested method is to join an AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) in order to share your story around people experiencing similar issues. A group would also offer different techniques to combat your binge drinking urges, that you could apply to your everyday life.
“If you feel you are unable to totally stop drinking, a good first step could be to limit the amount that you drink, and only do so with supervision. Drinking a lot of water between alcoholic drinks would also help to fill your stomach, which could lessen your desire to reach for a stimulant.
Similarly to this, it could be wise to switch to lower-strength beverages, in order to slow down the effects of alcohol – making the occasion about enjoying yourself, rather than feeling intoxicated.”
Great 0% drinks to try if you’re cutting down or giving up booze entirely
Over the last year or so, my ‘booze cupboard’ has gradually progressed to being about 50/50 actual booze and 0% booze. If you’re trying to cut down or cut out but, like me, you’re not big on fizzy drinks and fruit juices – or you just find they really don’t scratch the itch the same way if you’re at the pub or just relaxing after a long day – here are a couple of options I really rate.
- 0% Gin: Gordon’s or Tanqueray. Available Tesco, Sainsburys, ASDA, Morrisons & more. Add tonic and cucumber or lemon and I’d argue you won’t know the difference.
- 0.5% Beer: Lucky Saint (lager) or Erdinger (German wheat beer). I haven’t tried the 0% Guinness, but I hear good things about that too. Available online and from specialist retailers, plus bigger branches of Tesco, Sainsburys and ASDA.
- Miscellaneous spirits: Three Spirit drinks as cocktails, Seedlip in place of gin or vodka. I like the Three Spirit livener with ginger beer and lime, and the Nightcap with tonic and lemon, but there are tonnes of Three Spirit mocktail recipes here to try. Both available online and from select retailers.
- 0% Cider: Kopparberg (various flavours). Available at most major supermarkets in the UK.
Booze-free wines I still haven’t found ‘the one’, but for special occasions there are various ‘Nozecco’ type sparkling options that tick the right boxes, and the McGuigan Zero range isn’t terrible. I’m going to invest in a bottle of Three Spirit’s new wine alternatives, Blurred Vines and Sharp, soon, and will review once I’ve given them a thorough sampling…
To read Delamere’s report for yourself, visit https://delamere.com/blog/dangerous-drinking-culture-mapped