Britain’s Binge Drinkers

This programme was aired on ITV on Thursday 17th April at 19.30 as the Easter Bank Holiday kicked off here in the UK.  This used to be a drinking fest for me as you could drink from the eve of Good Friday all the way to the end of Easter Monday if you wanted to.  One of our locals holds an Easter Beer Festival Week-end with bands and guest beers running and I’m sure they are not the only one.

Jonathan Maitland takes a look at Britain’s binge drinking culture and the impact it is having on the health of young people including premature liver disease.  If you would like to watch it you can find it here:

It makes grim viewing particularly the group of 4 students who are followed before and after a regular night where they are seen pre-loading (or prinking as my neice informed me) and then out on the town consuming anywhere between 26 and 48 units in one night!  It also covers the stories of one teenagers death from alcohol poisoning in one night, a teenager who is now a recovering alcoholic and a man in his early twenties who died of liver failure caused by drinking.  Plus plenty of experts sharing their opinions and views.

10 thoughts on “Britain’s Binge Drinkers

  1. Yep, they do the predrinking over here too. That way they don’t spend as much at the bars. WHERE do they get these crazy ideas. Of course, when I was younger we ate slices of bread before going out, thought it would soak up the booze.

    1. I think the scary bit about this show was how much they were predrinking. Not a glass of wine while you’re getting ready (which was my idea of pre-drinking) but getting smashed before they left the house. Police here are having to patrol earlier in the night to pick up scuffles that are starting before people even step into a pub or bar 🙁

    1. Thanks Annie 🙂 Some spa resort in Jamaica so close your eyes and imagine you are there 😉 xx

  2. I recently watched a similar show about young Australian binge drinkers and it was horrifying. I thought I understood what teen binge drinking was, I assumed it was what I did in my teens/early 20s, which even now still seems excessive. But it seems like it’s gone to a whole new level. Things like the guy who said he’d drink a 4L (!) cask of wine on the train on the way into the city and then more at the clubs. A young girl saying “at least a case” pre-loading before hand (not sure if she meant shared or on her own) and then “at least 10 drinks at a minimum” while out. A medical expert saying he was just staggered by the BAC levels they see regularly on Fri/Sat nights, “Not 1.2 or 1.5 but 2.2 up to 2.8”. Whoah. At those levels no wonder the rates of people getting serious liver damage in their 20s and 30s is massively on the rise.

    1. Same with this show too Lilly. All of them had BAC Levels that were medically dangerous the next day (one was halfway to life threatening!) xx

      1. I was talking to a friend about this last night and I really wonder if it’s much worse than when we were young. I’m not sure. We certainly binge drank and maybe if I could really look back and count the levels it wouldn’t actually be that different. We also “pre-loaded” – we just didn’t call it that – and went for the cheap, bang-for-buck stuff. Maybe they’re also cherry picking the worst examples for these shows. I mean, the kids who say “Yeah we have a beer or two before we go out then a few at the club” don’t make for as good a sound byte. But it still seemed like shocking amounts.

      2. Maybe Lilly. I spoke to my late teen/early twenties neice’s about it and they verified some of what the programme portrayed and how hard it is to socialise if everyone else has left the house already tanked and you’re not on the same wavelength. They made it sound like what was shown was not atypical but that’s just from their frame of reference I guess xx

  3. Well the other thing I think is frightening is those reports, which I think you’ve referenced, of more people having serious liver disease at younger ages, which would stand to reason if this is where they’re starting out their drinking careers and if that’s a normal weekend thing to do. My friend said that judging by his early 20s coworkers it may indeed not be atypical if they’re anything to go by. Scary stuff.

    1. The fact that they are running a pilot scheme here offering liver transplants to people between the age of 18 and 40 presenting with serious liver disease from drinking with no previous diagnosis confirms it to me in the UK. We are in deep sh*t already and this is leading edge stuff so the worst is yet to come 🙁

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