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boozy nation Average Irish person drinks the equivalent of forty bottles of vodka a year, report claims

Ireland has the ninth-highest rate of alcohol consumption in the world

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The average Irish person drank the equivalent of forty bottles of vodka, 113 bottles of wine or 436 pints of beer in 2019, a new report has found.

This makes Ireland the country with the ninth-highest rate of alcohol consumption in the world.

With one in four in Ireland abstaining from alcohol completely, it means that among those that drink, the level rises to 53 bottles of vodka per person every year.

While Ireland’s pubs have been closed for most of the last year, the level of alcohol consumption in Ireland fell only marginally by 6.5pc, indicating higher levels of alcohol consumption at home.

The report notes with concern the effects of increased alcohol consumption at home on Irish children.

Children in one of every six homes have experienced harm due to someone else’s drinking, while the research showed that “children exposed to parental drinking at high levels are vulnerable to adverse outcomes."

The rate at which Irish people are drinking has remained stable, but at a very high level, since 2013, the Health Research Board’s report found.

There has been a sea change in the way Irish people are now consuming alcohol in the last 25 years, with a 21 per cent decrease in the number of pubs between 1998 and 2018, while there was a 407 per cent increase in off licenses.

One in four people (25.3 per cent) reported that they had not consumed alcohol in the year prior, with women and those in the 65 years and over age group most likely to abstain from alcohol.

More than half (52.3 per cent) of all drinkers were classified as hazardous drinkers by the report's authors using the World Health Organization’s AUDIT-C screening tool.

Hazardous drinking was more common among men, of whom 70 per cent engage in hazardous drinking.

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Those in the 15–24-year-old age group (65 per cent) were almost twice as likely to be classified as hazardous drinkers compared with those in the 65 years and over age group (33.2 per cent).

The amount of people discharged from hospital with alcoholic liver disease has more than doubled (221 per cent) since 1995.

The report concluded that “a majority of drinkers in Ireland consume alcohol in a manner that is risky to their health”.

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