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Tuesday, 5 November, 2002, 15:16 GMT
Drinkers claim moderation
People walk past pubs in Birmingham's Broad Street
People in Birmingham say they drink too much
Alcohol is a bigger problem than drugs in English nightclubs, according to new research.

Alcohol Concern's report also highlights the problem of binge drinking and says alcohol consumption is heaviest in the North.

BBC News Online's Bryony Jones went to gauge opinions in Birmingham's Broad Street entertainment zone.

"I go out and drink at the weekends - I'll have about five pints in a night out and I think that's all right", said Fabian Farquharson, 21, a computer salesman.

Fabian Farquharson
Fabian Farquharson: "Four or five pints"

"Broad Street is full of people doing just that - and more - on Friday and Saturday nights."

Marketing manager Sam Proctor, 26, said: "Everyone in the UK drinks too much, but I wouldn't have said people in the North drink more.

"Better education would help. We have anti-smoking and drink-driving campaigns so there should be something like that."

Engineer Cyril Anderton, 54, said: "I like a good glass of wine, but people seem to drink a lot more now than they did when I was younger.

Sam Proctor
Sam Proctor: "Better education needed"

"There's a lot of binge drinking nowadays - I think opening pubs 24 hours a day would make a big difference to that.

"Other than that all you can do is ban it. Banning drinking in the streets and giving people on the spot fines has helped."

Doreen Corp, 64, a retired kitchen saleswoman said: "I don't drink at all."

"On the whole though, I think people drink too much - I have two sons and I have seen them overdoing it.

"I think a lot of it has to do with all these 'Happy Hours' which encourage people to try to get as much as possible down - they are not a good idea."

Craig Johnstone
Craig Johnstone: "Too much at weekends"

Newly-arrived Scot, Craig Johnstone, 29, said: "I don't drink during the week, but I do drink too much at weekends.

"I think opening times should be extended.

In Scotland pubs are open until 1am - it means people don't rush to cram more in before the pub closes.

"In Glasgow the first thing you do when you're 13 or 14 is go and get drunk with your mates.

"But I don't know what can be done about it - it is part of the culture."

See also:

04 Nov 02 | Politics
16 Apr 02 | Health
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