Alcohol-Related Deaths in the UK Statistics

Alcohol related deaths graph

Despite being legal, readily available and socially acceptable, alcohol is an incredibly dangerous drug that’s responsible for more deaths across the UK and Ireland than any other. And that’s including heroin, cocaine, opiates and marijuana.

In 2017, there were 7,697 alcohol-specific deaths in the UK, or 12.2 per 100,000 people. This is almost double the 1991 rate of 6.9 deaths per 100,000 people. These deaths were most common among females between 55 and 59 years old, and males from 60 to 64.

Alcohol is also one of the biggest drains on the NHS, with 172,997 prescription items being given for the treatment of alcohol dependency in England in 2017 alone.

This is of course, without factoring in hospitalisation, injuries from drunken fighting or accidents, and inpatient rehabilitation, with alcohol as a whole costing the NHS £3.5bn per year.

The annual cost to the UK as a whole (not just the NHS) increases to between 1.3% and 2.7% of the UK GBP (between £21 billion and £52 billion) according to Public Health England.

Alcohol specific deaths in the UK

Alcohol Abuse – The Facts

According to the Institute of Alcohol Studies, almost 10% of all cases of ill health and premature deaths across Europe are caused by alcohol. This means alcohol abuse is more deadly than obesity, diabetes, asthma and car accidents, with only smoking and blood pressure problems causing more deaths.

Alcohol abuse causes large scale problems through dependency, withdrawal, drunken violence, drunken accidents, domestic violence, epilepsy, liver failure, drunk driving, and is even responsible for up to 30% of cancers of the oesophagus and liver.

If you believe you may be dependent on alcohol – call us now on 0800 118 2892 for free, no-obligation advice from our friendly alcohol treatment experts!

If you believe you may be dependent on alcohol, rehab or detoxing are usually the most recommended actions, with the option to detox from home.

The 2018 World Health Organisation report on alcohol states that globally, over 3 million people died from alcohol-related causes in 2016 – almost half the population of London, and representing 1 in 20 of all deaths.

Alcohol deaths by sex UK

While most didn’t involve deaths, alcohol and its influence were also involved in over 464,000 incidents of violent crime in England and Wales between 2016 and 2017, or 40% of all violent crime.

Violent incident links to alcohol graph

While most people think drinking is harmless, and when done in a controlled and moderated manner it can be, alcohol dependency is one of the most dangerous things a person can go through, as the statistics on this page confirm.

Alcohol puts you at a higher risk of disease, death, financial trouble, and many other things you should want to avoid.

If you feel you are struggling with your alcohol use, contact us now for some friendly advice on how best to overcome your problems, and remember we offer the UK’s best inpatient rehabilitation facilities if it comes to that, and can even help you to detox from home!

The one thing we don’t do is judge, as our staff have helped thousands of people overcome alcohol and drug dependency, and some of them have even beaten it themselves.

Regional Differences

Discrepancies can be found in the drinking habits of the separate UK countries – with the population of England drinking more frequently, but Scotland being more likely to binge drink and exceed daily limits by larger amounts. The average male alcohol intake in Scotland is over double that of Scottish females.

In 2017, the rate of alcohol-related deaths in the UK was highest in the North-East region, with 15.5 deaths per 100,000 people. This is despite the local rate decreasing every year since 2014.

Public Health Wales also found that around 1,500 deaths per year in the country are attributable to alcohol consumption, or 1 in 20 of all Welsh deaths.

London had by far the lowest rate, with evidence suggesting socioeconomic factors have a large impact on the rate of alcohol-related deaths.


Alcohol-related deaths occur in men more than twice as often as women, with the average between 2001 and the present being 16.8 deaths per 100,000 people for men, and 8 deaths per 100,000 people for women.

Drink Driving

In the UK in 2016, over 9,000 people were injured or killed in road accidents or incidents where the driver was over the alcohol limit. 230 were killed, which is an increase from 200 in 2015 and represents 13% of all road-related deaths.

This means that nobody is ever 100% safe from the risks of alcohol-related death, even those who don’t drink alcohol regularly. If there is one thing you should take from this page, it’s that alcohol dependency negatively impacts lives, damages them, and ultimately leads to an early death.

None of this is your fault, and you still have a chance to have a healthy, long, and natural life without the ghost of alcohol dependency looming over you at all times – get in touch now, and let us help you get your life back!

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