A newly released report by the Health Research Board claims that upwards of 1.3m Irish people are classed as ‘harmful drinkers’, and that 75% of alcohol is consumed in Ireland as part of a binge session.
The figures were captured as part of the first National Alcohol Diary Survey involving almost 6,000 people, aged 18-75 years, across Ireland during 2013.
Ths survey also shows that one in five drinkers engage in binge drinking at least once a week, and almost two thirds of 18-24 year old drinkers who participated in the survey consumed six or more standard drinks on a typical drinking session in the last year. A standard drink was defined in the survey as a glass of beer or a pub measure of spirits.
More than half of 18-75 year old drinkers in the survey were classified as harmful drinkers, which equates to 1.35m ‘harmful’ drinkers in Ireland.
According to Dr Graham Love, Chief Executive at the Health Research Board, “The amount we drink and the way we drink determine alcohol-related harm. We are still consuming alcohol far above the HSE recommended low-risk levels.
“Based on the figures in the report, more than 150,000 people are dependent drinkers, more than a 1.35 million are harmful drinkers and 30% of people interviewed say that they experienced some form of harm as a result of their own drinking. The report also reveals we underestimate what we drink by about 60%. If this is the case, the situation is much worse than what has been presented in this report,” continued Mr. Love.
The abstinence rate recorded in the survey was 21%.