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Brits top global binge-drinking list, Spain near the bottom with 'more sensible approach' to alcohol consumption
26 January 2021 @ 18:31

LONG-HELD stereotypes about wine-soaked Mediterranean culture and a laissez-faire attitude to drinking turn out to be completely the opposite of reality – but those about 'boozy Brits' are, statistically, true, according to the latest Global Drug Survey.

Alcohol is seen as a small part of and a mere complement to social gatherings in Spain, not the entire purpose, says the founder of the Global Drugs Survey - and Spaniards are the second-least likely European nationality to get ‘blind drunk’, with only Italians being more abstemious

Despite alcohol in general, and particularly wine – largely because it is home-produced and very little of it is imported – being much cheaper in southern European countries, binge-drinking appears to be far more common in the UK and Anglo-Saxon nations in general; in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece and to a certain extent, France, more so in the south, wine-drinking is normally associated with meals, and spirits and liqueurs as a shot to round off a dinner or a nip in a coffee, whilst beer is treated as a refreshing drink on a hot evening.

The survey does have its flaws, of course: It relies upon self-reporting, meaning there is no guarantee all participants are telling the whole truth, but the 100,000-plus people questioned all over the world is thought to be a stratified sample, meaning it reflects a microcosm of society.

It was conducted between November and December 2019, before the pandemic struck, and its main focus was finding out how often people in the various countries were likely to get themselves blind-drunk.



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