Alcohol abuse hospital admissions rising in Wiltshire

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Published by Ellie Harries at 7:12am 17th February 2019.

There are now 21% more cases in the county than five years ago due to excessive drinking.

In the 12 months to March 2018, there were 2,229 admissions to hospital in Wiltshire.

This only includes those with conditions entirely attributable to alcohol abuse, such as liver cirrhosis and not other conditions that may have been caused by alcohol.

Vanessa Hebditch, director of policy at the British Liver Trust, said these figures are scary:

"These statistics are alarming. Over the last thirty 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.

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Between April 2015 and March 2018, admissions of under age drinkers dropped.

There were 133 compared to 192 between 2010-13.

Dr John Larsen, director of evidence and impact for alcohol education charity Drinkaware, warned that young people are increasingly more likely to binge drink however.

"The more alcohol people drink, the greater their risk of developing a serious condition, such as high blood pressure and heart disease, as well as seven types of cancer.

"Men and women should not drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis."

Across England, 304,073 people were taken to hospital for conditions caused by alcohol abuse.

That's 3% higher than five years earlier.

The Government estimates alcohol misuse costs the NHS about £3.5 billion each year.

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