News – Alcohol ‘worst UK drug’

ET staff writer
ET staff writer
01 September, 2009 1 min read

Alcohol ‘worst UK drug’

Nearly 33,000 people in the UK die from alcohol-related causes each year – ten times as many people as die on the roads over the same time frame. And alcohol abuse affects family and friends of the drinker, meaning the problem hurts even more people who lack support.

‘There are an estimated 5.5 million people in the UK with an alcohol problem, and for each one of them, their problem will affect roughly three other people. For those relatives and friends, there are very few support services available’, said Dr John McMahon, who has been specialising in addiction research for more than 25 years.

He said that defining problem drinking was not just confined to health but also to relationship issues and the breakdown of home life.

McMahon added: ‘Someone might not be drinking themselves to death, but they might be spending every night in the pub and not putting anything into their relationships with the people they live with. For the people at home, that’s a problem’.

Dr McMahon is speaking at an Association of Christian Counsellors conference in Exeter in October on the issue of drinking. For more information, visit:

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