Figures reveal that 1.1 million people in England were admitted to hospital in 2009/10 because of alcohol – a rise of 879 per day compared with five years ago.
These show that there is a 25 per cent increase in the number of people admitted to hospital for reasons caused by drinking. The situation is more severe in some parts of the county than others with 3,114 people being admitted per 100,000 people in Liverpool, compared with 850 per 100,000 on the Isle of Wight. Figures also reveal that 7.6 per cent of drinkers are now considered to be at “high risk” of putting their health in danger, with a rising number of people developing and dying from chronic liver disease.
The report comes from the North West Public Health Observatory at Liverpool John Moores University which added that some six million people over the age of 16 abstain from drinking alcohol, with religion and ethnicity a major factor. But crime statistics show there were 392,787 offences which could be attributed to alcohol in 2010/11, equal to 7.6 crimes for every 1,000 people. The worst-affected region was London, where the number of alcohol-related crimes per 1,000 residents reached 11.7, while in the north east the rate was much lower at 5.7. By individual city, the rate was 13.1 in Southampton, nine in Leeds, nine in Liverpool and 7.4 in Newcastle.
Don Shenker, chief executive of Alcohol Concern, said, “These figures are a result of supermarkets routinely selling cheap alcohol, and the number of premises which are licensed to sell alcohol. 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.”
Professor Mark Bellis, director of the North West Public Health Observatory, added, “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. Cheap alcohol is no longer a commodity that this country can afford.”
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.”