The poorest people in the UK drink the least but suffer up to twice as much from alcohol-related harms
While unhealthy drinking is a problem that is often pinned on the poor in society, especially the unemployed, (who actually tend to drink less than employed people), it is the poorer communities that suffer the greatest harms.
This has been called the ‘alcohol harm paradox’ and has been discussed by several researchers looking at the effects of inequality on the UK’s health.
Nobody is sure, but part of the reason may have to do with a difference in drinking patterns.
The same weekly consumption of alcohol can result in different amounts of injury and disease depending on whether alcohol is consumed each night, or all at once as part of heavy drinking sessions.
Yet there are other important factors at play here.
People in poorer neighbourhoods often suffer from poor housing, diet, stress and other health problems at much higher levels, which affect their ability to withstand unhealthy amounts of alcohol.
They are also likely to have a much more difficult time accessing quality healthcare.
*Image by Nico Hogg