ALCOHOL-RELATED deaths in the UK increased slightly in 2014 to 14.3 per 100,000 population but are still almost double those recorded in 1994, according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics.
The OHS report states there were 8,697 alcohol-related deaths registered in the UK compared to 8,416 in 2013 (an age standardised rate of 14.0 deaths per 100,000 population). The majority (65 per cent) were among males and rates were highest among 55 to 64-year-olds.
Scotland had the highest alcohol-related death rates in 2014 for both sexes but it has also seen the fastest decrease in rates since peaking in the 2000s.
Alcohol-related death rates for both sexes were significantly higher in the north of England than the south in 2014. England and Wales are the only UK countries where alcohol-related death rates for females were significantly higher in 2014 than 1994.
Commenting on the figures, Chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance, Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, said: "Deaths from alcohol are increasing and the age at which people are killed by alcohol is falling. The UK Government says this is a public health priority, so why is the situation getting worse? It is because Government continues to duck the evidence, instead of bringing in effective policies to regulate the 24 hour availability of cheap, heavily marketed drink, particularly in our supermarkets and off-licences.
"We also know that the ONS figures underestimate the true scale of the problem, and that alcohol has a role in many more deaths each year than the ONS figures suggest – the true figures are likely to be three times that reported by the ONS. The government and the ONS need to address this."