Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Views on Drinking and its Consequences

Alcohol misuse (drinking above recommended safe limits) is among the leading causes of preventable death and ill-health in Europe, alongside smoking and high blood pressure.  Alcohol-related harm extends beyond the individual to affect other people, society and the economy, making it the most harmful drug in the UK.  Most of this harm is caused by hazardous drinkers (people drinking more than safe limits, but not experiencing symptoms of dependence).  While effective treatment for hazardous drinking exists in the form of brief interventions, few people seek help to reduce their drinking.  One of the reasons why hazardous drinkers do not seek help with their drinking is because they do not view it as problematic.  This study aims to explore people's thoughts on their drinking and its perceived consequences in order to gain a better understanding of the barriers to help seeking.  This research will help inform the development of primary care and public health services and is therefore of interest to general practitioners and both the national and international academic community.