One in five of us get so drunk they feel out of control at least once a month, study suggests
- Adults consume at least twice the daily guidelines of alcohol, a study suggests
- Research found one in five adults get so drunk they feel out of control monthly
- The Global Drug Survey analysed responses from 61,043 adults gathered in 2015
One in five adults get so drunk they feel out of control at least once a month, research suggests.
On average adults consume at least twice the daily guidelines to get intoxicated, according to the Global Drug Survey.
Researchers from the UK, US, Switzerland and Australia analysed responses from 61,043 adults aged 16-80 in 21 countries, including the UK, gathered in 2015.
Participants were asked how much they would have to drink to feel the effects of alcohol, become as drunk as they would like to be and reach their ‘tipping point’.
Researchers from Global Drug Survey found that on average adults consume at least twice the daily guidelines to get intoxicated (file photo)
This was defined as the point drinking stops being pleasurable and relaxing and induces feelings of anxiety and a lack of control.
They were also asked how often in the past year they had reached these stages.
Some 85 per cent felt the effects of alcohol at least once a month, 66 per cent became as drunk as they wanted to and 20 per cent reached their tipping point.
More than two thirds of respondents in the UK, Ireland, France, Austria, Brazil and Germany reported reaching their desired level of drunkenness at least once a month.
The NHS says no level of drinking is safe, and recommends people in the UK drink no more than 14 units a week, spread over at least three days.
This is the equivalent of six pints of beer or ten small glasses of wine.
In the UK, the average man consumed 18 units in a single sitting to reach their tipping point. Women drank about ten units – 70 per cent of a weekly allocation – to get as drunk as they wanted to be in one sitting, while men drank 12 units to reach this state.
The NHS says no level of drinking is safe, and recommends people in the UK drink no more than 14 units a week, spread over at least three days (file photo)
The researchers warned that the guidance around units is being ignored because it does not reflect people’s experiences.
Instead, encouraging people to avoid reaching their tipping point may be more useful.
Lead author Dr Emma Davies, from Oxford Brookes University, said: ‘We need to tread a line between being realistic about what people enjoy and what’s actually going to cause them some damage potentially.’
The authors, writing in the International Journal of Drug Policy, said: ‘Exploring the role of educational interventions that encourage people with heavy drinking to drink less, while still enjoying their alcohol experience, will be a challenge for those in public health, partly because any move to increase the recommended amount of alcohol in the current guidelines could be unhelpfully used by the alcohol industry.
‘Nevertheless, if guidelines do not reflect or represent people’s experiences they are likely to be ignored and are unlikely to lead to the public health goal of reduced consumption.’