Response to the Global Drug Survey 2020 Results

The Portman Group, the social responsibility and regulatory body for alcohol in the UK has issued a response to the Global Drug Survey’s key findings for 2020, published today. Commenting on the survey, Portman Group CEO, Matt Lambert said:

“The narrow sample in the survey ends up mischaracterising the UK’s drinking habits. UK wide Government and NGO surveys consistently show that the moderate majority, 4 in 5 UK adults, drink responsibly, within the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines. Furthermore, this same data shows a decline in harmful drinking patterns, such as binge drinking, with UK drinkers below many of their Western European counterparts.”

The Portman Group would note the following trend data:

  • Since 2004, annual alcohol consumption in the UK has fallen by 13%. (WHO, May 2020)
  • Heavy episodic drinking’ (consumption of 60 grams or more of pure alcohol) on at least one occasion in the past 30 days among UK adults rank well below many of our Western European neighbours, such as Ireland, Germany, Belgium and France. (WHO, July 2020)
  • Furthermore, binge drinking has fallen by a quarter amongst English drinkers over the last ten years, and by close to a fifth amongst Scottish drinkers. (NHS England, December 2020 / Scottish Health Survey, September 2020)