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Britain has the biggest alcohol problem

The world’s first comprehensive report on global addictions has found that Britain has the biggest alcohol problem.

The Global Statistics on Addictive Behaviours: 2014 Status Report, led by researchers at the University of Adelaide, also states that:  

  • More Australians have taken cannabis, ecstacy and amphetamine-type drugs in the last 12 months than elsewhere in the world
  • More than 12% of British people have an alcohol disorder, compared with nearly 8% of people in the US and almost 4% of Australians
  • Alcohol and tobacco are the most widely used substances worldwide
  • Experts: Smoking and alcoholism causes the most deaths each year

This is the first time that global data on the prevalence of alcohol and other drug use has been presented in a single compilation.

The paper’s lead author Associate Professor Linda Gowing, from the University of Adelaide’s School of Medical Sciences, says alcohol and tobacco use are by far the most prevalent addictive behaviours worldwide and cause the most harm.

Upon publication of the report, she said: “The report found alcohol and tobacco are the most common addictions in most countries and they are also the most harmful. 11% of deaths in males and 6% of deaths in females are linked to tobacco each year globally. Alcoholism is associated with a range of health issues and takes years off someone’s life.”

The full report can be read here