GLOBAL DRUGS SURVEY 2019

In Global perspective by Clyde Mooney

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A major consumer survey has found Australia and English-speaking countries at the top of the list for prolific boozing.

The eighth annual report from the Global Drug Survey, claiming to be the largest drug survey in the world, examined over 123,814 people in 36 countries worldwide, between 29 October and 30 December 2018.

Around 5,400 people from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were surveyed, admitting to getting drunk an average of 51.1 times in a 12-month period, or almost once a week, and elevating the UK to the number one position for frequency.

US, Canada and Australia closely followed the UK at the top of the regular drinker rankings. The global median response on getting drunk was 31 times per year.

The study also found consumers prone to binge drinking see health limit recommendations as “irrelevant” and that high-risk drinkers were doing so at twice the frequency of low-risk drinkers.  

Researchers note there is an overall downward trend of drinking levels globally and fewer people were drinking, but many that do drink are doing so in ways that are potentially harmful.

“Current guidelines fail to accept the pleasure of intoxication, and give little guide on the difference between being a little drunk and a lot drunk, and doing it three to four times a year versus weekly,” says survey founder professor Adam Winstock.