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Number of Alcohol Related Hospital Admissions Tops One Million

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The NHS information centre has reported that over 1 million people across England and Wales were admitted to hospital for alcohol related problems in the year 2009/2010.

What’s more, alcohol dependency cost the NHS £2.41 million in prescription costs alone in the same year. It’s thought the overall cost of drink related ailments across the NHS could run into the billions.

It has been suggested that the acceptability of heavy drinking and availability of cheap alcohol in supermarkets, combined with the stress of financial worries brought on by the recession has encouraged drinking whilst in the home and ‘pre-loading,’ drinking excessively before going out.

Nicholay Sorensen, policy director of the charity Alcohol Concern, said: “Part of the reason for the increase is a growing cultural acceptance of excessive drinking. Now, as never before, we are really happy to crack open a bottle of wine and drink it in one night.”

Recent studies have shown however, that the number of abstainers are rising and the number of alcoholics has remained relatively stable suggesting that those who drink are likely to be drinking more. Anne Milton, Public Health Minister, added that the revelation of these statistics show that the “old ways of tackling public health problems have not always yielded the necessary improvements.”

Charities have suggested that, despite the introduction of a minimum price per unit on alcohol, the government hasn’t done enough to prevent alcohol abuse and that further problems lay ahead in the future. Don Shenker, Alcohol Concern’s chief executive, said: “The Government’s ongoing failure to tackle the root causes of alcohol misuse means we will see hospital admissions continue to rise in the future.”

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