One In Five 'Admit Drink Problem'

One in five young professionals in the UK consider themselves to have a drinking problem, a survey has found

The research found that more men in this category said they believed they had issues with alcohol (28%), while for both men and women it was 21%.

On average 7% of those questioned admitted to having a drinking problem, but more than one in 10 (13%) 25 to 34-year-olds said they did while nearly half (45%) said they knew someone else who had one.

The poll of 4,000 UK adults also found that a third (35%) of 18 to 24-year-olds said they had got so drunk they could not remember most of their night out, with one in five (18%) admitting they have not been able to recall how they got home.

One in 20 (5%) admitted to driving themselves home drunk and one in ten (9%) have got in a car with someone who they knew was intoxicated, while more than one in 10 (16%) of 25 to 34-year-olds said they have woken up in a stranger's house.

Nearly half (47%) of young professionals said they thought it was acceptable to regularly get drunk on a night out compared to 21% of the population on average.

Meanwhile nearly a quarter (23%) of those aged 35 to 54 said they drink alone at home, with many saying they do it to relieve stress or relax.

The issue of alcohol abuse was not lost on people, with three-quarters (75%) of those polled saying they thought Britain has a heavy drinking culture while just over a fifth (23%) considered alcohol to be more harmful to their health than smoking.

The survey also found that more than half of those questioned (53%) believe the NHS should refrain from treating people who continue to abuse alcohol after warnings about their health, while a similar number (54%) think that it is not acceptable to drink while pregnant.

James Endersby, managing director of Opinium Research, which commissioned the poll, said: "Many of us enjoy a drink and in moderation it can be an important part of socialising and relaxation for many people.

"However it is clear that many, particularly the young and those in professional jobs, drink regularly and in excess; and as our study shows, often with dangerous repercussions that impacts their health, well-being, security and friendships in many cases.

"Guidelines say that the key is moderation; everyone should have the freedom to treat themselves to a drink but it is important that we don't ignore the health implications of having a good time.''

Alistair Bohm, head of communications at drug and alcohol treatment charity Addaction, said: "Problems with alcohol use can affect people of any age, from any background.

"As these statistics show, it's not just people who are addicted to alcohol who are damaging their health or risking their safety as a result of drinking.

"If a person is worried about their drinking, the best thing to do is speak to their doctor, or find their nearest addiction services.''

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