2020 saw the highest rate of alcohol death in England and Wales than in any of the previous 20 years, official data shows.
There were 7,423 deaths from alcohol misuse last year a rise of 20% from 2019, the Office for National Statistics(ONS) says.
Deaths increased from March 2020 onwards when the UK’s coronavirus pandemic forced the first national lockdown.
Most deaths were related to long-term drinking problems and dependency.
The ONS defines alcohol deaths as those directly caused by misuse of alcohol.
Last year, around 80% of those deaths were from alcoholic liver disease, 10% from mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol use and 6% from accidental poisoning by exposure to alcohol.
In England, men living in the most deprived areas were four times more likely to die from alcohol than men living in the wealthiest areas.
The alcohol death rate for men in 2020 was twice the rate for women – and this is no different from previous years.
In the last few months of 2020, when alcohol deaths were highest, death rates were 17.8 per 100,000 for men and 9.7 per 100,000 for women.