Binge drinking 'kills 12 people a month'

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The Independent Online
BINGE drinking - consuming large quantities of beer, wine or spirits in a matter of hours - kills 12 people every month, according to figures released today, writes Liz Hunt.

Alcohol Concern, a group which campaigns for better alcohol awareness, said that many drinkers did not realise the lethal effects of binge drinking. The pre-Christmas party season is considered a high-risk period, especially among work colleagues who try to 'out-do' each other in their alcoholic consumption.

Recent examples of binge drinking include a man from Weston-super-Mare who died after drinking a pint of malt whisky in 20 seconds. Another man collapsed and died following a session of 20 pints of lager and a litre of vodka.

At a conference for the drinks trade which opens in Birmingham today, Alcohol Concern, the Health Education Authority and other groups will call for improved training for bar staff to limit binge drinking among customers. A survey by the West of England University of 70 organisations which sell alcohol found that more than two- thirds of staff were unaware of any training for those who serve alcohol.