Britons get drunk more often than everyone else in the world, a global drug survey suggests.
According to a report examining the drinking habits of 36 countries last year, Britons reported getting drunk an average of 51.1 times in a 12-month period, which accounts for almost once a week.
For the survey, researchers surveyed more than 120,000 people globally of which 5,400 were from England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, between 29 October and 30 December.
English speaking countries led the way for how often their citizens reported getting drunk, with the USA, Canada and Australia closely following the UK at the top of the global rankings.
The report, which researchers claim to be the largest drug survey in the world, also found that the UK comes in second place behind Australia in how many people sought emergency treatment following alcohol use in the last 12 months.
Meanwhile, UK drinkers regretted just under a fifth (18.5 per cent) of their drinking sessions, compared to 20 per cent globally.
When it comes to gender, women consistently reported feeling regret after drinking more often than men.
Nevertheless, the report showed that people generally “overwhelmingly like getting drunk”.
The survey’s founder, consultant addiction psychiatrist Professor Adam Winstock, said many people could be doing so in a potentially harmful way and suggested it might be time to introduce guidelines on how people can get drunk safely.
“We get told too much is bad, and it is, but current guidelines fail to accept the pleasure of intoxication and give little guide on difference between being a little drunk and a lot drunk, and doing it 3-4 times a year versus weekly. We need to have that conversation,” he explained.
While the NHS guidelines do not specify a “safe” level of alcohol consumption, the organisation advises people not to regularly drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week – the equivalent of approximately nine glasses of wine.
“In the UK we don’t tend to do moderation,” Winstock added.
The researcher said that until UK drinkers adopt a more “European” and moderate attitude to drinking alcohol, “we might have to bite the bullet and think about how to advise people to get drunk drinking less.
“Getting drunk carries risks of injury and health harm, but we need to start highlighting the risks at different levels of drinking even if they are above safe limits,” he added.
The study comes amid new research which found that global alcohol consumption has increased 70 per cent in less than 30 years.
The research, published in The Lancet earlier this month, found that UK consumption dropped from 12.6 litres of pure alcohol a year per adult in 1990 to 11.4 litres in 2017 – a decline of almost 10 per cent.
Researchers of the study, which examined almost 200 countries’ alcohol intake over the last three decades, also predicted the number to fall even further by 2030, dipping to only 11 litres a year per adult.