The UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that the number of alcohol-related deaths in the country increased by 18.6% to 8,974 people. The figure has been steady and even declining over the past couple of years, but in 2020 the death toll rose by 1,409.
The Daily Mail said the numbers include deaths that are a direct consequence of alcohol abuse. For example, liver cirrhosis caused by drinking. As in previous years, the highest mortality rate was recorded among men living in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The majority of deaths were associated with chronic alcoholism and dependence. Alcoholic liver disease (fatty degeneration, hepatitis, cirrhosis) accounts for 77.8% of cases.
Ian Hamilton, a drug addiction expert at York University, said the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing isolation are fueling alcohol consumption. According to him, the lack of personal support and access to specialized medical services contributed to the shocking rise in mortality.
A study by the charity Drinkaware found that boredom, increased free time and anxiety increased British cravings for a bottle. The country's government intends to allocate 780 million pounds (75.77 billion rubles) in the coming decades for drug and alcohol addiction treatment. However, experts are confident that the authorities tend to underestimate the harm caused to the population by alcohol cravings.