In 1998 the UK government reported that 40 000 deaths per year are alcohol-related. Per-capita consumption of alcohol in the UK has doubled since the late 1950s, whilst in other developed countries such as France and Italy, it has more than halved. The price of alcohol, in real terms, is half what it was in the 1970s. Between 1995 and 2001, binge drinking increased by 35% in the UK. Despite government efforts to reduce excessive drinking, according to the NHS "hundreds more" children are admitted to hospital after drinking [in 2005] than five years ago, diagnosed with alcohol poisoning and "behavioural disorders because of excessive drinking": In 2009 this was confirmed by "an OECD report identifying its teenagers as the world's drunkest, among other dubious accolades". Death rates from cirrhosis, primarily caused by excessive drinking, "the increase is reflected in rising death rates from chronic liver disease, the primary cause of which is too much drink. In the 30 years between 1970 and 2000, death by cirrhosis for people aged 25 to 44 rose an astonishing 900%, from about 80 cases a year to more than 700".
Alcohol-related crime commands the single biggest use of police manpower in the UK and alcoholism and binge drinking is by far the biggest social problem that British society faces. UK holidaymakers and football fans abroad are bemoaned as the most drunken and most unruly of all foreign travellers. It disgraces the UK; other European countries such as Italy and France have no such problems. Binge drinking is not only a problem acknowledged by health and government officials, but it is also something they think all citizens ought to be warned about... its definition appears in the UK Citizenship Test lexicon's list of words that immigrants ought to learn.