Alcohol related harm is a major public health concern , 7% of all ill health and early deaths. Even moderate alcohol consumption increases the long term risk of certain heart conditions, liver diseases and cancers and frequent consumption of large amounts can lead to dependence.

Any amount of alcohol can be dangerous during pregnancy and when driving. Young people are particularly at risk of short term effects of drunkenness, including accidents and violence, with alcohol-related deaths accounting for around 25% of all deaths in young men aged between 15 and 29.