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Binge drinking should be tackled regionally, research suggests

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Tackling binge drinking needs to be done on a regional basis, according to new research showing that people in different areas of the country drink for different reasons.

Almost 2,000 people were surveyed for a poll for the British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG).

It found that in London, 26% of those surveyed said they drank to relieve stress while one in ten said it was because they were depressed. A further 30% said they thought social isolation in the capital was causing alcoholism to rise.

But in Wales, 22% said they binge drink socially, when they are with friends.

Across the country, people admitted to drinking more than recommended limits. Only a quarter (26%) of Londoners and a third (35%) of Scots said they drink in moderation, while a fifth of northerners said the thought the Government’s limits were too low.

Almost half (45%) of those surveyed in the Midlands and 44% in Wales said it was up to them to decide how much to drink.

BSG president Professor Chris Hawkey said: “The findings suggest that a regional approach to tackling alcohol misuse is required if we are to be serious about tackling the problem. Whilst the government has taken a blanket approach to nationwide campaigns, maybe we need to take a different approach in some areas, perhaps focusing on services provision.”

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