The abusive consumption of alcohol is getting worse among young people, notably women, in many developed countries. This warning comes in the latest report by the 34-nation OECD.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, which advises governments, says consumption in these countries dropped 2% on average from 1992-2012.
This works out to about ten litres of pure alcohol per year, or the equivalent of around 100 bottles of wine.
Binge drinking by young adults, generally qualified as consuming five to eight drinks at one sitting, fell in England and Ireland during the period covered. But it has gone up in Canada, Germany and Italy, for example.
The reasons highlighted include access being easier and the development of drinks marketed specifically to please younger consumers. Australia and the US have seen a strong rise in ethylic comas among 18-24-year-old women.
The report warns that alcohol abuse accounts for a higher proportion of deaths worldwide than HIV, AIDS, violence and tuberculosis put together.
In most of the OECD countries, in addition to the toll in lives and impairment of people’s health, the reduction in national productivity is on the order of 1%.
The highest drinking rate is Estonia, at 12.3 litres of straight alcohol per person per year, then Austria, France and Ireland, with an OECD average of the 34 countries of 9.1 litres.
The study finds less educated men more inclined to drink too much, and among women, the better educated are liable to drink heavily.