England and Scotland top global league table for getting drunk most often

T

he English and Scottish are more likely to get sozzled than other nationalities, a poll of 25 countries has found. The Global Drugs Survey (GDS) for 2020 placed England and Scotland at the top of its international league table of how often people get so drunk that they slur their speech and lose their balance. More than 110,000 people across the world were questioned by the GDS, including 5,283 Brits, between November 2019 to February 2020 – so before the coronavirus pandemic tore through daily life.

It found that many Britons were drinking at dangerous levels, with more than five per cent of under-25s admitting to having sought emergency medical treatment after getting drunk, compared to a global average of two per cent. The report repeated last year’s finding that people in the UK get drunk more often than those in other countries. However, this year’s results are considered more robust because the GDS defined what it meant by “getting drunk”.

Participants were asked how many times they had got so drunk that their “physical and mental faculties are impaired to the point where your balance/speech was affected, you were unable to focus clearly on things, and that your conversation and behaviours were very obviously different to people who know you”. By this definition, English and Scottish respondents said they had been drunk, on average, more than 33 times in the last year. This was the highest rate of all 25 countries surveyed and more than twice the rate of sevral European countries including Spain, Italy, Germany, Greece, Poland, Hungary and Portugal.

Related

The global average for drunkenness was just over 20 times per year, with Colombians reporting the lowest number of drunken incidents at 6.5 times.

Only seven per cent of English and Scottish participants reported not having been drunk at all in the past 12 months. This was trumped only by Australian and Danish respondents at five per cent. A separate study conducted by the GDS last year found that 48 per cent of Britons said they had been drinking more since the start of the pandemic.


Pubs reopen in Scotland after coronavirus lockdown – In pictures



England and Scotland top global league table for getting drunk most often

Barman Dejah Hajdukovic serves a whisky at The Piper’s Rest pub in Edinburgh as pubs, bars and restaurants reopen

PA

England and Scotland top global league table for getting drunk most often

Some of the first customers enjoy a drink at The Piper’s Rest pub in Edinburgh

PA

England and Scotland top global league table for getting drunk most often

Crieff Hydro Hotel CEO, Stephen Leckie and his sons, Richard and Charlie play the bagpipes alongside daughter Louisa on the snare drum and highland dancer Ella Rose as they give a special welcome back to guests as they open for the first time since March.

Getty Images

England and Scotland top global league table for getting drunk most often

A member of staff places a safety sign on the door of The Scotsman’s Lounge pub

PA

England and Scotland top global league table for getting drunk most often

George McDonald, from Clemiston, is the first customer to be served at The Scotsman’s Lounge pub

PA

England and Scotland top global league table for getting drunk most often

George McDonald, from Clemiston, is the first customer to be served at The Scotsman’s Lounge pub

PA

England and Scotland top global league table for getting drunk most often

George McDonald, from Clemiston, is the first customer to be served at The Scotsman’s Lounge pub

PA

England and Scotland top global league table for getting drunk most often

Crieff Hydro Hotel CEO, Stephen Leckie and his sons, Richard and Charlie play the bagpipes alongside daughter Louisa on the snare drum and highland dancer Ella Rose as they give a special welcome back to guests as they open for the first time since March.

Getty Images

England and Scotland top global league table for getting drunk most often

People wait for opening outside The Scotsman’s Lounge pub in Edinburgh as pubs, bars and restaurants across Scotland reopen

PA

England and Scotland top global league table for getting drunk most often

Ivor Birnie (left) and John Lynch, some of the first customers to be served at The Scotsman’s Lounge pub

PA

England and Scotland top global league table for getting drunk most often

Crieff Hydro Hotel CEO, Stephen Leckie and his sons, Richard and Charlie play the bagpipes alongside daughter Louisa on the snare drum and highland dancer Ella Rose as they give a special welcome back to guests as they open for the first time since March.

Getty Images

England and Scotland top global league table for getting drunk most often

John Lynch, one of the first customers to be served at The Scotsman’s Lounge pub in Edinburgh

PA

England and Scotland top global league table for getting drunk most often

Bill Day, aged 70, one of the first customers to be served at The Piper’s Rest pub in Edinburgh

PA

England and Scotland top global league table for getting drunk most often

Barman Matthew Williams serves drinks at Scotts in South Queensferry

PA

GDS founder Professor Adam Winstock said: “We don’t have a culture that is honest about the impact of intoxication.

Drinking is a lousy coping strategy and it is putting a higher burden on the NHS. “British people have never really embraced moderation when it comes to drinking. While many other cultures regard alcohol as an accompaniment to a social event and frown upon public drunkenness, we’ve often embraced it as a cultural identity.

“The challenge is making people realise drinking a bit less does not make you boring.

In fact, you’ll probably have a better night.

It’s like as a country we need to leave our adolescence behind.”

You may also like...