Alcohol killed more people in England and Wales last year than in any other year since records began, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), as many Brits turned to drink to cope with the isolation – and other forms of suffering – caused by the lockdowns. MailOnline has the story.
An ONS report published today revealed there were 7,423 fatalities linked to drinking last year, which was a fifth more than in 2019 and the highest number since records began in 2001.
People living in the poorest parts of the countries were four times more likely to have died from alcohol abuse compared to those in the wealthiest areas.
Alcohol-related deaths have been rising for decades. But they rose quickest from March 2020 onwards, after the first national lockdown came into force, and got progressively worse as the year went on.
Most deaths were related to long-term drinking problems and dependency – with alcoholic liver disease making up 80% of cases.
But experts told MailOnline that a year of social restrictions likely exacerbated Britain’s drinking problem. Dozens of surveys found people drank more than usual during lockdowns to cope with isolation, boredom and anxiety about the pandemic.