Alcohol abuse increase leads to increase in hospital admissions across Lancashire

Hospital admissions for conditions directly caused by alcohol abuse are rising in Lancashire.
Hospital admissions for conditions directly caused by alcohol abuse are rising in Lancashire.
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Hospital admissions for conditions directly caused by alcohol abuse are rising in Lancashire, new Public Health England figures show.

The British Liver Trust says the figures are “alarming” and puts them down to an increasing drinking culture among middle-aged and older drinkers.

In Lancashire, there were 7,935 admissions directly linked to excessive drinking in the 12 months to March 2018. That’s four per cent more than five years earlier. The data only includes patients suffering conditions which are entirely attributable to alcohol abuse, such as liver cirrhosis.

Admissions of under age drinkers have dropped. There were 332 between April 2015 and March 2018, compared with 587 in 2010-13. The figures for children are measured over a three-year period due to low numbers.

Vanessa Hebditch, director of policy at the British Liver Trust, said the Government should increase taxes on alcoholic drinks or set a minimum unit price.

She said: “These statistics are alarming. Over the last 30 years, there has been a big shift in the UK’s drinking culture, particularly amongst middle-aged and older drinkers.

“Filling up your supermarket trolley with wine and drinking at home has become increasingly acceptable and affordable. The Government should act to address this through taxation such as by creating a minimum unit price.”

Scotland introduced a minimum unit price of 50p in May 2017, while the Welsh Government is planning to implement the same measure next summer. Across England, 304,073 people were taken to hospital for conditions caused by alcohol abuse.