Over half of women in the UK drink too much alcohol

British women were also found to be the most likely globally to experience harassment from people who have been drinking

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The Independent Online

There are more British women who have a problem with alcohol than those who don’t, according to new figures.

The survey found that 55 per cent of women in the UK drink too much, scoring eight on the World Health Organisation’s Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT).

The survey also found that women are most likely to give up drinking for fear of being a victim of sexual assault.

AUDIT is a ten-question test – scores of over seven for women and eight for men indicate a strong likelihood of hazardous or harmful alcohol consumption. Scores of 13 – 20 suggest different levels of alcohol dependence.

At the upper end of the scale, 14 per cent of women scored a concerning 16 on the AUDIT test. This figure was much higher than the global average, which is 9.6 per cent.

The UK didn’t fare so well, as it came out as one of the worst countries for irresponsible service of alcohol. Nearly three quarters, 73 per cent, said they thought a drunk person would usually get served in a bar.

British women were also the most vulnerable to verbal or physical harassment from drinkers. One in five reported that they had been sexually harassed by a drunk person – which is 30 per cent higher than the global average.

One in 20 said they had been physically assaulted by someone who had been drinking, a figure that was also 30 per cent higher than the global average.

Sexual assault related to alcohol seemed to be, the survey found, the factor most likely to make a British woman more likely to change her drinking habits. Forty seven per cent said they would do so.

The Global Drugs Survey is in its eleventh year. Over 102,000 people in 50 countries answered questions about their drinking and drug taking habits.

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