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The Cost of Drinking Alcohol

The Cost of Drinking Alcohol
Published By Dr. Rachel Hall at 24 August, 2011


Average Brit Spends £58,201 ($93,000) On Booze Over A Lifetime And Has 726 Hangovers

Over an average British person’s lifetime, 5,800 pints of beer are consumed, plus 8,700 glasses of wine, 2,900 bottles of cider, 5,808 shots of spirits, 1,452 cocktails, 1,452 glasses of liquor, and 1,452 glasses of champagne – the equivalent of 456 drinks annually. The typical Brit also experiences 726 hangovers over a lifetime. £962 are spent annually on alcohol, or £58,201 ($93,000) by the time they die.

These figures were reported today by Benenden Healthcare.

Below are some highlighted statistics from the survey:

The average Brit consumes alcohol at least three nights each week

The average Brit downs nine alcoholic drinks each week

57% of British people drink at home

17% of Brits regularly go to a pub for a drink

40% of Brits think they need a drink to unwind. 1 in 6 adults in the UK say they have a drink in the evening out of habit, and the same number sees it as a form of escapism

1 in every 10 Brits says he/she would find it hard to spend more than a week without a drink, while 1 in 10 would find two days difficult

1 in 5 Brits say they cannot enjoy a night out if they don’t have a drink

12% say their aim when drinking is to get drunk

Over one third of Brits have blacked out while drinking and cannot remember how they got home

Two thirds of UK adults say they consume more alcohol while on vacation, and have four or more drinks per day (while on vacation)

The average Brit enjoyed his/her first drink at the age of 14 years

Recommended guidelines for alcohol consumption are 3-4 units per day in men, equating to around a pint and a half of 4% strength beer, and 2-3 units in women – a single 175 ml glass of 13% strength wine for women. This means that by getting through 456 drinks a year on average, many Brits are sailing perilously close to the wind and, in many cases, most likely exceeding guidelines. (However according to recent studies by the Cancer Council there is no safe limit for alcohol consumption. See Alcohol on this blog)

The yearly financial cost of this level of consumption also gives pause for thought, with £962 a year being no small sum for many families in the UK. These levels of alcohol consumption, which not only pose a medical risk but a lifestyle risk in terms of financial cost. With 726 hangovers and being £58,201 out-of-pocket, ‘enjoying a drink’ regularly takes on a new dimension.

This survey highlights the dysfunctional relationship many of us have with alcohol. The results can be seen in our town centres every weekend, in hospital Emergency departments where alcohol related conditions and injuries are a large part of the workload and in the increasing numbers of admissions with alcohol related liver disease.


  • Author - Rachel Hall

    Dr. Rachel Hall

    Rachel is the founder and principal dentist at Evolve Dental Healing with over 25 years experience, practicing holistically since 2001. Not your typical dentist, Rachel is a passionate opinion leader, challenging convention to empower people to make better dental and health choices, helping thousands to have healthy natural smiles. A respected writer and presenter on holistic dentistry, health and wellness it is Rachel’s mission to revolutionise the way people look at their dental health.

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