These figures underline the urgent need for a 50p minimum unit price for alcohol, which would hit younger drinkers and heavy drinkers, while not greatly affecting moderate drinkers.
Alcohol abuse is one of the greatest threats to public health in this country and it can only be tackled by robust regulation of the industry, along with a minimum unit price to prevent binge drinking.
More top news
A cheap over-the-counter painkiller taken by millions of people in Britain every day could have the hidden benefit of slowing down ageing.
Some four million Brits are expected to fly out of the UK over the festive period, along with many more using roads and railways.
Scientists believe they may have found the key to fighting HIV - and it rests in the immune system of llamas.