Cardiff binge drinking capital: an incorrect label?

Posted on December 28, 2011


Cardiff has lower alcohol consumption figures than the rest of the UK and alcohol-poisoning cases are non-existant at local hospitals.

Alcohol poisoning has been singled out as a major threat to women, especially during winter months as hypothermia is a side effect.

Figures have shown an increase in female deaths between 2001-2008 as a result of alcohol poisoning as can be seen below:

Articles target women, such as articles published in women’s magazine Cosmopolitan to create an increase in awareness about the symptoms of alcohol poisoning.

This suggests that hypothermia connected to alcohol poisoning is a major problem.

Cardiff, the binge drinking capital of the UK, must see record highs of women presenting through A&E. Wrong. Cardiff and Vale University Health Board have revealed that between November 2010 – January 2011 not a single female presented with hypothermia, a decrease on the previous year.

Further investigation discovered that between 2007-2010 in the months November-January only five female hypothermia cases were diagnosed in Cardiff and Vale UHB, with none of them connecting to alcohol poisoning.

So why is Cardiff different? Alcohol consumption is lower than most of the UK. A total of 13 adults in Wales surveyed had consumed alcohol on 5 or more days in the last week as opposed to 15 in England. 8 of the 13 were female in Wales whereas 12 of the 15 were female in England.

In the same report it was discovered that 11 Welsh women drank more than 6 units of alcohol in the last five days. The lowest figure recorded in the data. The highest record was 21 women from Yorkshire and the Humber, almost double that from Wales.

Recent reports have suggested that Cardiff’s binge drinking is some of the worst in the UK and a set of photographs taken by Maciej Dakowicz entitled ‘Cardiff After Dark’ did nothing to prevent that label.

Alcohol poisoning and hypothermia do not form the only casualties of alcohol, however the suggestion that it is a major problem and yet Cardiff has seen no such problem is interesting.

If you are struggling with alcohol addiction, you can find your local Alcoholics Anonymous meeting here.

Posted in: News Story