The World Cup officially kicks off today and many football fans are ready for the nations favourite sport to take over their lives, meaning more boozy nights in the pub and at home.
With a tournament that lasts nearly four weeks and at least one game being played every day, alcohol companies are ready to cash in on the tournament with a predicted spend of £209 million spent on alcohol watching the first round alone. Brits are planning to spend £128 million worth of beer, wine and spirits in pubs, cafes and bars during the group stages and should England make it to the final, fans are predicted to sink more than 136 million pints*.
This massive increase in consumption of alcohol over the period of one month can have a significant impact on the body as well as encouraging habitual drinking that can be difficult to stop.
Steve Jones, managing director at the new drug and alcohol rehab sanctuary The Hygrove in Gloucestershire said:
“During tournaments such as the World Cup it’s important to remember that whilst enjoying the games and cheering on your team, it might be a trigger for somebody who is already vulnerable to drink too much, too often.
Before somebody becomes addicted to alcohol there are two stages that people will go through. Hazardous Drinking describes those occasionally drinking more than they should and Harmful Drinking where the level of drinking has reached a stage where they are causing themselves harm, often leading to alcoholism. There’s a fine line between the two and it’s important that people are aware of it.
In addition, we must also keep in mind the adverse effects that too much alcohol can have on the public generally including an increase in violent incidents, including domestic violence, as reflected by the significant increase of reported admissions into A&E during the 2014 World Cup.
Whilst we want everybody to enjoy this year’s tournament we also urge people to take the opportunity to reflect on the amount that they or those close to them are drinking and to be mindful of the warning signs of addiction.”
If England win or lose the ‘celebratory pint’ or ‘drowning your sorrows’ drinking can mean only one thing – the real winners are the alcohol industry.
*statistics sourced from a survey conducted by Opinium and VoucherCodes in 2018