Discounted supermarket booze has been blamed for a rise in the number of alcohol related deaths. According to Office for National Statistics figures, collated by the Daily Telegraph, 6,517 people died of excessive drinking last year, up 20 % on the 2001 figure. The increase comes as a record £1.2 billion is about to be spent on discounted drinks in the run up to Christmas. Alcohol Concern warned cheaper drinks were creating ‘a growing public heath crisis.’ But Jeremy Beadles, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said the industry was taking ‘substantial action’ to reduce problem drinking. The Daily Telegraph 8/12/07 page 4