More than one in four people in England drink dangerous amounts of alcohol every week, according to research, which also found a jump in alcohol-related hospital admissions.
Almost a million people received treatment for harm caused by drinking in 2008/09, a rise of 825 extra patients per day in the past five years to reach 945,469 admissions.
The survey, by the North West Public Health Observatory (NWPHO), revealed northerners drank more than the rest of the country, but London had the highest rate of alcohol-related crime.
Director Professor, Mark Bellis, said: "The price we pay for turning a blind eye to the real extent of alcohol abuse across England is reflected in the new Local Alcohol Profiles for England and it is a price that is paid especially by the poorest communities.
"The English death toll from alcohol now exceeds fifteen-and-a-half thousand people every year. It is time to recognise that we are not a population of responsible drinkers with just a handful of irresponsible individuals ruining it for others."
Researchers published their Local Alcohol Profiles for England (Lape 2010) report as the Alcohol Commission called for a ban on selling drink below the "floor cost" of production, plus VAT and duty.