The Office for National Statistics recently reported that in 2008 adults consumed 12.2 units of alcohol a week on average compared with 13.5 units in 2006.
According to the research, 21 per cent of men and 14 per cent of women consume more than eight and six units respectively on at least one day a week.
Dr Rachel Seabrook, research manager at the Institute of Alcohol Studies, said: "Generally this country has a problem with drinking. Consumption increases are seen across the board.
"Increasing numbers of middle class drinkers that drink at home are drinking larger quantities of alcohol without really realising they are doing it."
Last month, NHS Confederation and the Royal College of Physicians issued a warning that over a quarter of the population in England is drinking at hazardous levels.
Treating alcohol-related conditions cost the NHS approximately £2.7 billion in 2006-07, almost double the cost in 2001.