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Drinking "down to regional causes"

People in different areas of the country binge drink for different reasons and a regional approach is necessary to tackle the problem, according to new research.

In a poll for the British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG), nearly 2,000 people were asked about why they drank alcohol.

It found that in London, more than a quarter (26%) of people said they drank because of stress, while one in 10 said they drank because of depression. Almost a third (30%) said social isolation in the capital was causing alcoholism to rise.

However, of those polled in Wales, 22% said they binge drink socially with friends.

The poll also revealed that in many parts of the country, recommended limits for alcohol are not adhered to. Only 26% of Londoners and 35% in Scotland said they drank alcohol in moderation.

Almost half (45%) of those surveyed in the Midlands and 44% in Wales said it was up to them to decide how much to drink, and a fifth in the north of England said they thought the limits were too low.

BSG president Professor Chris Hawkey said: "The findings suggest that a regional approach to tackling alcohol misuse is required if we are to be serious about tackling the problem.

"Whilst the government has taken a blanket approach to nationwide campaigns, maybe we need to take a different approach in some areas, perhaps focusing on services provision."

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