48% of Irish consumers are consuming alcohol at a level that is putting their health at increasing risk or high risk, new research shows.
Studying the nation's attitudes and behaviors toward alcohol has found that 24% of people consider it likely that they will have increased health problems in the future if they continue to drink at their current level.
21% of drinkers think they should reduce alcohol consumption, but 16% have already made small changes in consumption.
The Drinkaware Index, conducted by Behavior & Attitudes, was conducted using the World Health Organization's AUDIT-C screening tool and was launched during the sixth EU Awareness Week on Alcohol-Related Damage.
This shows that 44% of people who drink consume alcohol at least once a week, while 19% have consumed more than six standard drinks per week in the past year.
Only 2% of people were able to correctly identify the low-risk alcohol guidelines
23% of Irish adults do not drink alcohol, according to the study.
Nearly three quarters of people (74%) believe that drinking too much is "just a part of Irish culture."
Speaking about the findings, Sheena Horgan, CEO of Drinkaware, said: "The Drinkaware Index is a benchmark study that provides a critical and up-to-date picture of Ireland's drinking habits.
"Our data on national consumption levels corroborate other surveys such as the Healthy Ireland Survey, but using the World Health Organization's AUDIT-C screening tool in this survey has allowed us to delve deeper into the true root of the issue about which segments of the population are in risk and the hard truth is that almost half of Irish adults who drink alcohol drink to a level that can be dangerous to their health and well-being and, moreover, they know it.
The Drinkaware Index is a nationally representative survey that uses seven standardized models to provide an overview of Irish adults' behavior, attitudes, and motivations regarding alcohol consumption.
The HSE low alcohol guidelines are 11 standard drinks (110g pure alcohol) distributed during the week for women and 17 standard drinks (170g pure alcohol) for men.
The Drinkaware Drinks Calculator can be accessed here.
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