Alcohol Consumption in the United Kingdom

United Kingdom alcoholismThere is hardly any other society in the world that has stronger associations with alcohol consumption than the United Kingdom does. The British, Scottish, Welsh and some of the Irish make up the United Kingdom, and together they have created a reputation for themselves around the world for excessive alcohol consumption. While this may not necessarily be something to be proud of, it is certainly an old part of their culture. The countries within the United Kingdom have been drinking for millenniums, sometimes in moderation and sometimes in excess, but alcohol has always been present.

The United Kingdom’s history with alcohol is a rich one. Beer containers that date back over 10,000 years have been discovered by archaeologists, indicating that alcohol consumption has been present in the United Kingdom’s culture for a very long time. We know that a number of ancient societies drank alcohol more than they drank water because the drinking water was unclean. The United Kingdom’s alcohol traditions are also heavily tied to their wars, battles and revelries over the centuries. They evolved from societies that were known for having alcohol feasts in celebration of victories. During the Roman Invasion, wine became a staple in the United Kingdom and different cultures emerged over different alcohols.

There have always been two different natures to the United Kingdom’s relationship with alcohol. The elite drank in moderation while the populous drank in excess. Sometimes these roles were reversed, but generally speaking, one can see this culture present in modern times as well. With few exceptions, the high society of the United Kingdom continues to drink in moderation, but the working class is more out of control with their alcohol intake than ever before in history. There are a few plausible reasons for this.

Only several decades ago saw the official fall of British Imperialism with the apartheid in British colonial societies coming to an end. Great Britain was essentially demoted as a world power, which shook its collective confidence in its world standing. This was the culmination of several centuries of Great Britain losing its standing as the chief world power. This statistically causes depression and anxiety within a culture, which statistically prompts people to drink heavier. Alcohol is much stronger than it used to be in the past, so a culture with a long history of alcoholism is only going to find itself more plagued by alcoholism. Combine these factors with the gloomy weather and lack of vitamin D in the United Kingdom and you have the perfect recipe for out of control alcoholism.