Almost a third of drinkers in the UK are drinking at increasing or high risk levels — new research from alcohol education charity, Drinkaware, reveals.

This means they drink more than the Chief Medical Officer’s (CMO) recommended guidelines of 14 units per week.

More than half (56%) of people who already drink at higher risk levels — more than 35 units a week for women and more than 50 for men — reported drinking more than they would usually.

Drinkaware is concerned many people are putting their health at risk, with some risking serious and long-term damage to their health, if increased pandemic drinking trends are not reversed.

It is urging all drinkers stick to the CMO’s low risk drinking guidelines of no more than 14 units a week to keep their risk of alcohol harm low.

More than a third (38%) of furloughed workers and those facing redundancy report drinking more since the onset of lockdown restrictions in March.

Drinkaware’s evidence and impact director, Annabelle Bonus, said: “There is a clear and very worrying picture emerging here.

"Certain groups are more vulnerable to the risks from alcohol harm than others, and the pandemic is having a direct impact on many people’s drinking across the country.

“After a year of uncertainty, with more sadly to come, the effects of drinking to excess cannot be swept under the carpet. As a nation we must act now.”

Drinkaware has an online self-assessment that can help identify whether someone should be concerned about how much they drink.