Over 600,000 People Hospitalised For Alcohol Abuse In England : Significant North - South Divide Evident

By: Information Daily Staff Writer
Published: Wednesday, September 1, 2010 - 20:29 GMT Jump to Comments

There were 16,000 fatalities and over 600,000 people were hospitalised due to alcohol abuse according to research published by North West Public Health Observatory.

Irresponsible drinking in England is rife with over 25% of drinkers exceed healthy alcohol limits each week. The research also revealed stark North - South divide in the impact of irresponsible alcohol consumption. In the North West men are more likely to die from alcohol prematurely than those in the South East. However, the most alcohol related crimes were committed in London.

The Local Alcohol Profiles for England (Lape 2010) report was produced by academics based at John Moore's Centre for Public Health at Liverpool.

Liverpool had the highest rate of alcohol related hospital admissions in England and Blackpool led the way on incapacity benefit due alcoholism. Professor Mark Bellis, the observatory's director, 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.

"Over one in four drinkers exceed weekly limits according to national surveys and alcohol sales figures suggest the number is much higher.

"At weekends, by the early morning hours our city centres do not have just a few drunk individuals in them - actually most people are drunk yet continue to be able to buy alcohol despite such sales being illegal.

"We need to see the real cost of alcohol reflected in the price it is sold at and the warnings about the dangers that alcohol represents not relegated to a tiny corner in alcohol adverts, but written large enough for people to recognise the seriousness of the risks."

Researchers also found:

* Two thirds (65%) of all local authorities suffering the highest levels of overall harm are in England's North West and North East.
* The 10 local authority areas with the highest levels of combined alcohol-related harm, in descending order, are: Manchester, Salford, Liverpool, Rochdale, Tameside, Islington, Middlesbrough, Halton, Oldham and Blackpool.
* By comparison the East and South East contained two thirds (65%) of all the local authorities with the lowest overall harm. The 10 local authorities with the lowest levels of alcohol-related harm, in ascending order, are: Broadland, East Dorset, South Northamptonshire, Babergh, Three Rivers, South Norfolk, Hart, Sevenoaks, Wokingham and North Kesteven.
* Across England, there were 415,059 recorded crimes attributable to alcohol in 2009/10; equivalent to 8.1 crimes per 1,000 population. The highest rates of alcohol-attributable crime occur in the London region where there were 12.2 crimes per 1,000 residents, although this has decreased by 2.1% from the previous year. The lowest rate is in the North East region at 6.2 crimes per 1,000 which also showed the largest decrease (13.5%) from the previous year.

"We are once again reminded of the terrible burden that the abuse of alcohol causes to residents of the North West through its affects of ill health and crime," said Ruth Hussey.

"The North West alone saw over 100,000 individuals admitted into hospital for alcohol related reasons in 2008/09.

"Parts of the North West have already pioneered new ways to educate the public about alcohol and improve access to care for those requiring support. Alcohol costs people their jobs, their health and their lives."

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