Drinkline statistics (4)

So day 4 (you can read day 1 here, 2 here and 3 here) and now we turn to the real meat of the Drinkline data – alcohol consumption, frequency of use and caller concerns.

Drinkline front page

Alcohol Consumption and Frequency of Use (1/2)

Of the callers who disclosed the number of units consumed in July, 85% of all callers stated that they drink over 15 units when they drink. 74% of callers this month stated that they drink alcohol every day, 14% of callers drink most days of the week and 7% drink twice a week. 2% of callers this month disclosed that they either drink once a week or less than once a week.

  • 74% of callers drink every day
  • 14% of callers drink most days of the week
  • 7% of callers drink twice a week
  • 2% of callers drink once a week
  • 2% of callers drink less than once a week.

When broken down by frequency of consumption for each caller, 75% of people in July stated that they drank over 20 units of alcohol every day. 74% of callers who drink between 15 and 20 units revealed this month that they drink this amount daily. Similarly to June, nobody who contacted the service in July said they drank less than 4 units of alcohol.

Topics Discussed (Top 10)

As was the case with topics discussed in June, most people calling about themselves discussed their own physical health in July (33%) and the majority of concerned others wanted to discuss the implications of alcohol use on their family (37%). 21% of individuals discussed family this month and 13% discussed relationships. 22% of concerned others discussed physical health and 19% discussed relationships. The top 3 topics discussed across both individuals and concerned others have not changed when compared with last month.

So the primary concerns were health and social implications and this remains the trend.

What shocked me about the consumption data was that the majority were drinking over 15-20 units every day.  This is a heavy psychological dependence or a probable physical dependence, requiring medical detox support.  And 50% of these are in full time employment so quite possibly getting into their cars and driving to work.  Just like I used to ……

Are you surprised by this data like I was?

4 thoughts on “Drinkline statistics (4)

  1. this data is consistent with figures I quoted on a blog post last year* which stated that
    24% of people in the UK drink at harmful levels. and according to one American study, if you divide the population into tenths, or centiles, then the highest quartiles consume as follows:

    – eighth centile – 6 units a week.
    – ninth centile – 15 units a week
    – tenth centile – SEVENTY FOUR units a week.

    these are seemingly huge numbers but a bottle of wine a night, if it has eleven units of alcohol in it (and many have more) will take you handily into that top centile??!!

    I get so frustrated at the portrayal of drinking this much alcohol as being ‘the norm’ and acceptable for one’s long term health, when it is neither. the alcohol industry has a vested interested in it being perceived as both BECAUSE THAT IS WHERE THEIR PROFITS ARE COMING FROM.

    I know that there is a re-examination going on at the moment by the Chief Medical Officer about recommended maximum units per week. presumably that number will go down? and all the folk who like ‘a few’ drinks will take that as evidence that the nanny state doesn’t know what it’s talking about?

    remind me, Lou, because I always forget – what’s the weekly threshold of units over which a medical detox is recommended? perhaps the Government should just publicise THAT number, which might give people a better idea of what their drinking is doing to them?

    thanks for this series, important stuff. sorry for essay!

    * https://takinganewpath.wordpress.com/2014/11/22/do-we-even-know-what-motivates-us-to-change-our-behaviour/

    1. Morning Prim and thank you for adding your voice – that’s why we went looking for this data right? 😉 The threshold where you should seek medical advice before stopping is 15 units a day EVERY DAY so just over 100 units a week (105 to be precise). The advice comes from the medical profession, http://patient.info/pdf/9292.pdf (and actually these guidelines say 15 for a man and 10 for a woman!!) and doesn’t necessarily mean you need a medical detox but should be consulting medical professionals and seeking support to taper or they may advise a detox. As an aside if you are drinking 1 bottle a night and then perhaps increasing to 2 for 3 nights (for example on a long week-end like this one coming up) then you would hit this number if it was a 10 unit bottle of wine – which on occasion I did ….. I would say if you are drinking more than 1 1/2 bottles a night don’t stop without support and supervision which was most of the callers to this service!

  2. Thank you, both for your information!
    When I was drinking a bottle at a time, I counted it as 4 drinks.
    Now I read that it’s 5 standard drinks in US.
    No wonder I felt so messed up after that much wine.

    1. You’re welcome Wendy 🙂 I was guilty of under-counting the amount I drank, particularly the one’s when in blackout! xx

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