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Alcoholism rates in Ireland

Alcoholism

The Truth About Alcoholism in Ireland

Smarmore Castle is particularly proud of the results of their alcohol addiction treatment programmes at their private residential rehabilitation clinic in County Louth.

With an expert medical team and consultant psychiatrists, we have been able to deliver effective evidence-based alcohol addiction treatment that is well-known for helping people achieve sustained sobriety in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, the rest of the UK and Europe.

Alcoholism rates in Ireland

  • Three deaths a day in Ireland due to alcohol [1]
  • 500 Irish people die from alcohol-related cancers annually [2]
  • In 2019, alcohol use in Ireland was 10.78 litres of pure alcohol per capita [3]
  • Two-thirds of road user fatalities have a positive toxicology for alcohol [4]
  • Alcohol is a reason for more than half of suicides in Ireland [5]

alcohol use in ireland

Science tells us that alcoholism is a disease that needs medical and therapeutic intervention to achieve optimal recovery.

So, if you are like hundreds of our past patients who have suffered from addiction, the first step to getting better will involve a free 30-minute alcohol addiction assessment.

Begin yours now.

Irish men and alcohol

One in four deaths of men aged 15-39 in Ireland was due to alcohol. [6]

Irish men are known to have a high level of alcohol consumption with consistent patterns of binge drinking, which is categorised as more than six standard drinks in one sitting.

This is especially dangerous to health and well being.

The World Health Organisation found that two-thirds of Irish men (62.4%) drank alcohol and engaged in binge drinking often.

See the differences between binge drinking and alcohol dependency.

The facts 

  • 63.9% of males started drinking before 18
  • 1 in 4 males aged 18-24 drank more than the recommended weekly amount in a single day
  • 18% of men experience harm as a result of someone else’s drinking
  • 29.9% of drinkers experienced harm as a result of excessive drinking

Dr Triona McCarthy, Consultant in Public Health Medicine from Alcohol Action Ireland on Vimeo.

Irish women and alcohol

One in four women experiences harm as a result of their own alcohol dependency. [7]

Irish women are drinking more often compared to previous generations.

This trend is concerning given the health-related risks and harms.

The number of women who are suffering mental health issues exacerbated by alcohol consumption has also increased.

The harsh truth:

  • According to data from the Global Burden of Disease Study in 2016, Irish women are near the top of the table worldwide for heavy drinking, ranking seventh. [11]
  • In 2014, the rate of binge drinking among Irish adult women was the highest in the EU. [12]
  • A separate study published in 2019 by the Lancet, found that Irish adolescent girls are among the highest binge drinkers in the world, ranking third. [13]

Alcohol affordability in Ireland

Over the last 50 years, alcohol consumption has doubled in Ireland.

1,500 hospital beds are occupied for alcohol-related reasons every night! [8].

On top of this, Irish households spent €7.447 billion on alcoholic beverages in 2018 [9].

The increase in alcohol consumption can be partly blamed on cheap booze

  • A woman can reach her weekly recommended low-risk limit of 11 standard drinks for €4.84.
  • A man can reach his weekly recommended low-risk limit of 17 standard drinks for €7.48. [14]

More worryingly The Health Research Board’s Alcohol: Public Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviours report (2012) found…

It would require a 25% increase in price to get 67% of those purchasing alcohol in a supermarket to buy less alcohol and a 10% price increase to get 35% of those buying alcohol in a supermarket to decrease the amount of alcohol they purchase.

If alcohol dependency is costing you more than money, it’s time to get in touch.

We can help +353 41 214 5111.

Irish Alcoholism and death

  • Between 2004–2017 there have been 8,995 drug-related deaths: 4,974 (55%) were due to poisoning. [10]

According to WHO, alcohol is the leading risk factor for death amongst males aged 15-59.

On top of this, the link between alcohol and suicide has been well established as well as self-harm, in particular, mostly among men.

Many consultant psychiatrists like Dr Bobby Smyth argue that alcohol is not used as a product to complete the act of suicide, but rather as a result of its impulsive characteristics.

“As you get drunker the future is foreshortened. You are impulsive and have greater difficulty thinking of solutions. Life seems suddenly impossible and unbearable. Suicide begins to look like a solution and in your disinhibited, disorientated state you act on it.”

Read more of Dr Smyth’s piece on alcoholism and mental health. Or see the hidden signs of alcoholism here.

Don’t be another statistic

Residential rehabilitation is the world-recognised treatment for alcoholism. Your first week may begin with alcohol detox, which will work to get you safely clean and sober.

The next step involves being seen by a highly accredited consultant psychiatrist who will diagnose any co-occurring mental health disorders.

This is an important part of the process because often dual diagnoses fuel addictions and a proper diagnosis will be a core component in a successful recovery.

We can help +353 41 214 5111.

Continue to read more about Ireland’s growing problem with alcoholism here.