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Hospital-admitted alcohol cases up 900 a day


Hospitals in England are having to cope with 900 more people a day being admitted to hospital for drinking compared to five years ago, figures show.

A round-up of existing data shows there were 1.1 million admissions in England relating to alcohol in 2009/10 - 879 more per day than five years previously.

Overall, in the five years to 2009/10, there was a 25% rise in the number of people admitted for reasons that were due to drinking.

The report was published by the North West Public Health Observatory at Liverpool John Moores University.

Professor Mark Bellis, a director of the Observatory, said: “Cheap alcohol is no longer a commodity that this country can afford.

“The scale of damage revealed by these profiles shows that alcohol is a problem for everyone in England.

“Even those families not directly affected by alcohol related health problems, violence or abuse still pay towards the billions in taxes for the policing, health services and social support required to tackle this national problem.”

The report showed a wide variation across the country in rates of hospitalisation, with 3,114 admissions for alcohol per 100,000 people in Liverpool, dropping to 850 per 100,000 on the Isle of Wight.

The figures come against a backdrop of increasing numbers of people suffering and dying from chronic liver disease.

Other figures show 7.6% of drinkers are now considered high risk, meaning they are at serious risk of jeopardising their health.

Don Shenker, chief executive of Alcohol Concern, said: “It is clear that this government needs to do far more to tackle the problems that all communities face in dealing with alcohol harms.

“If the UK wants a healthier relationship with alcohol, we need a different relationship with alcohol retailers and producers.”

Public health minister Anne Milton said: “Harm caused by alcohol is unacceptably high. Solutions to alcohol-related problems lie at every level of government but we also need to change individuals’ attitudes toward alcohol.

“That is why we have banned below-cost alcohol sales and we are tightening licensing laws, including tough action to stop under-age sales.

“This action is supported by the Responsibility Deal that has already seen Britain’s biggest retailers and drinks manufacturers commit to much better information for consumers on alcohol and health.

“Our alcohol strategy which will be published later this year will go further by empowering local areas to tackle these problems.”



Readers' comments (10)

  • More bad news.

    I need a drink !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous | 25-Aug-2011 11:17 am

    More bad news.

    I need a drink !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Ha, Ha

    Have you actually ever seen someone die from alcohol problems? It is not a peaceful or pretty death and I think that as soon as this country sorts out the alcohol binge culture it will be better for all of us.

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  • Anonymous | 25-Aug-2011 11:22 am

    Yes I have actually, but I have still manage to maintain a sense of humour, and believe it or not, it has helped me even in the darkest of times.

    What I wanted was drink, not a lecture.

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  • Now I need a drink!!!

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  • is alcoholism inherent in our culture and why?
    Outside Scandinavia, wine, spirits and beer, etc. must be the most expensive in Europe yet I am under the impression that we have the worst problems. I have just been over the French border into Spain and into a huge supermarket which was absolutely packed and there was such a huge area, probably as large as the food part, with a vast range of cheaper alcohol I have ever seen yet drinking, although a problem everywhere, seems to be less serious in western Europe than in the UK. There are no longer border controls in this area and people were buying unlimited quantities to take home. My friends stocked up for a wedding party of over 100 people with a huge variety of wines and spirits to mix punches and cocktails but they did wonder what would be the consequences if their was a spot control at the border! It seems paradoxical that whiskey, gin, and wine, etc. produced in the UK is far cheaper elsewhere although I wonder how much of a role price pays in alcoholism. it seems that those who are dependent will get it whatever the cost.

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  • europe a nation of drinker, britain a nation of drunks. There's the difference.

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  • Gillian Dargan

    THe real issue that should be address is the cause of excessive social drinking. Look at the lack of employment, lack of preventative healthcare and social depression with government ineffectiveness. Drinking is a coping mechanism when done in excess, ergo a symptom of the underlying problems.

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  • Drivers & Inhibitors
    Increased disposable income across the social spectrum.
    Proliferation of cheap drinks promotions in the on- and off-trade.
    Decrease in the relative price of alcoholic beverages.
    Expansion in the number of students and student night-life.
    Proliferation of alcoholic drinks designed for young persons (for example, alcopops).
    Increased leisure time.
    More sophisticated and targeted alcohol advertising and marketing.
    The appeal for young people of getting drunk to socialise, overcome inhibitions and adopt "adult" behaviours.
    The lack of alternative desirable social activities for young persons.
    Lax licensing regulations for venues selling alcoholic beverages

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  • I went on a harm reduction course last week. One of the statements we had to debate was the enforcement of a minimum price per unit of alcohol. The biggest argument against it was that the group arguing would have to pay more money for their own "responsible" alcohol consumption. They didn't take into account the amount of money they fork out to treat those who are alcohol dependent. I was shocked at how short sighted and selfish these so called "harm reduction" people were.

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  • I am sure we should be addressing the underlying issues mentioned by GillianUSA Anonymous | 25-Aug-2011 9:41 pm above.

    just tightening up laws and changing prices will not solve these and may not even alter behaviour.

    people need to feel wanted, respected and have a useful and responsible role to play in society to make their lives worthwhile and alcohol is used as a medicine to dampen down negative feelings when the more positive ones are not being achieved.

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