The death of Auckland secondary school student James Webster following a vodka drinking binge last weekend added to over 80 deaths from a similar cause since the middle of 2007, figures show.
The death of the 16-year-old, apparently from alcohol poisoning, prompted pleas from his parents for others to realise how lethal heavy drinking could be, but figures from the Office of the Chief Coroner show it is not an uncommon cause of death, The Press reported today.
The figures showed 83 people had drunk themselves to death between July 2007 and February this year.
When it comes to death from alcohol-related harm the figures are about 1000 per year.
Such statistics were taken into consideration by the Law Commission when compiling a recently-released report recommending ways to curb such harm.
Currently being considered by the Government, those recommendations included lifting the alcohol drinking and purchasing age, limiting opening hours of bars and off-licenses, lifting excise tax on alcohol and placing greater restrictions on alcohol advertising and promotion.