In 2003, the cost of binge drinking was estimated as £20 billion a year.
In response, the government has introduced measures to deter disorderly behavior and sales of alcohol to people under 18, with special provisions in place during the holiday season.
In January 2005, it was reported that one million admissions to UK emergency department units each year are alcohol-related; in many cities, Friday and Saturday nights are by far the busiest periods for ambulance services.
The culture of drinking in the UK is markedly different from that of some other European nations.
Some observers, however, believed it would exacerbate the problem.
This culture is increasingly becoming viewed by politicians and the media as a serious problem that ought to be tackled, partly due to health reasons, but mostly due to its association with violence and anti-social behaviour.
Using a 5-drink, past 30 days definition, 38% of Russian 15–16-year-olds have binged and 27% became intoxicated, a percentage that is on par with other European countries, and even lower than some.
The programme engages youths in events and activities that are close to their lifestyles, focusing on four major platforms – Music, Fashion, Sports and Friends to spread the message of responsible drinking.
Since the mid-1990s the botellón has been growing in popularity among young people.