Binge drinking needs to be tackled on a regional basis, according to new research showing that people in different areas of the country give different reasons for drinking to excess.

Almost 2,000 people were surveyed for a poll for the British Society of Gastroenterology.

In London, 26 per cent of those surveyed said they drank to relieve stress, while one in 10 said it was because they were depressed. Thirty per cent said they thought social isolation in the capital was causing alcoholism to rise.

In Wales, 22 per cent said they binge drink socially, when they are with friends.

Across the country, people admitted to drinking more than recommended limits. Only a quarter (26 per cent) of Londoners and a third (35 per cent) of Scots said they drink in moderation, while a fifth of northerners said they thought the government’s limits were too low.

Almost half (45 per cent) of those surveyed in the Midlands and 44 per cent in Wales said it was up to them to decide how much to drink.

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.”