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Alcohol update.

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Eddie Mair | 12:59 UK time, Thursday, 22 May 2008

New figures on the number of NHS hospital admissions linked to alcohol (in England) show a rise of 7 per cent in one year. Over the last twelve years the figures have more than doubled.

We're talking about the figures tonight. You can read more here.


  • 1. At 1:21pm on 22 May 2008, miraculousginger wrote:

    i wonder how accurate these figures are ?

    "admission linked to alcohol" could cover a whole range of incidents.

    would it not be more beneficial for these figures to be broken down ?

    someone falling down some steps due to drunkeness isn't quite the same as someone having a glass smashed in their face during an argument, or someone needing their stomach pumped.

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  • 2. At 3:11pm on 22 May 2008, jonnie wrote:

    miraculousginger - Did you look at the figures on the link that Eddie left?

    The NHS figures are broken down - it's a little scary how many admissions are from under 18 year olds.

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  • 3. At 3:25pm on 22 May 2008, miraculousginger wrote:

    oh sorry, i can't open links from work that aren't bbc. ignore my comments in that case, it was with ref. to the segment above.

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  • 4. At 3:27pm on 22 May 2008, jonnie wrote:

    What would be interesting to learn is the reason why consumption has increased?

    I realise cheaper alcohol is the obvious reason - however it does seem to affect different sectors of society.

    According to this BBC link http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7045830.stm

    it says:

    The lowest rates were found in more affluent areas, with the wealthy town of Winchester recording the lowest rate of all.

    But richer areas fared much worse when it came to hazardous levels of drinking - for instance more than one large glass of wine every evening.

    In Runnymede, Surrey, more than one in four of the adult population were defined as drinking in this way.

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  • 5. At 3:29pm on 22 May 2008, jonnie wrote:

    miraculousginger :- Here are the key facts from Eddie's link:-

    Key facts:
    Drinking among adults
    in England in 2006, 72 per cent of men and 57 per cent of women reported drinking an alcoholic drink on at least one day in the week prior to interview. Twelve per cent of men and seven per cent of women reported drinking on every day in the previous week
    in Great Britain in 2007, 69 per cent of people reported that they had heard of the government guidelines on alcohol consumption. Of these people, 40 per cent said that they did not know what the recommendations were.
    Drinking among school children
    In England in 2006, among pupils aged 11 to 15:

    45 per cent of pupils said they had never had a proper alcoholic drink (a whole drink and not just a sip), an increase compared to 39 per cent in 2001
    15 per cent of pupils thought it was okay to get drunk at least once a week, this figure was 30 per cent for 15 year olds.
    Drinking-related ill-health and mortality
    In England:

    in 2007, there were 112,267 prescription items for drugs for the treatment of alcohol dependency prescribed in primary care settings; an increase of 20 per cent since 2003 when there was 93,241 prescription items
    in 2006/07, there were 57,142 NHS hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis specifically related to alcohol. This number has risen by 52 per cent since 1995/96. Of these admissions, 4,888 (nine per cent) involved patients under 18 years of age
    in 2006/07, NHS hospital admissions per 100,000 population varied regionally throughout England. In 2006/07 the North West Strategic Health Authority had the highest rate of 170 admissions with a primary diagnosis specifically related to alcohol per 100,000 population, and the East of England Strategic Health Authority showed the lowest rate of 72 admissions per 100,000 population.

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  • 6. At 3:44pm on 22 May 2008, RJMolesworth wrote:

    Hazardous to health is a relative concept. Winston Churchill drank like a fish (do fish drink?) and died at 90. I can't afford to so I'll probably not last as long. It's like smoking. If you have the right genes you survive to a ripe old age and if you don't you don't. The tax pays for the NHS care and if you drink or smoke to much they don't treat you anyway, unless you are a famous footballer.

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  • 7. At 3:45pm on 22 May 2008, RJMolesworth wrote:

    Oops! Sorry about the grammar. Must have had one too many.

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  • 8. At 3:56pm on 22 May 2008, miraculousginger wrote:

    thanks for posting up stats

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  • 9. At 5:30pm on 22 May 2008, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    jonnie @ 4, I am interested to note that if people follow the new government guidelines, men can't drink two pints of real ale in an evening and women should stick to one glass of weak or medium wine.

    Bad news for pubs, then...

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  • 10. At 8:49pm on 22 May 2008, needsanewnickname wrote:

    I'm glad and grateful to see PM taking a continuing interest in this subject. I have known at least two people who have died as a result of their alcohol abuse (IMO), one of whom was my former partner. When we met, his drinking was on the heavy side, but by the time we had got over the split and become friends again, it was (IMO again) out of control and compulsive; I don't want to say any more in case somehow someone who knew him will see this and become distressed. The frog is public, after all.

    Alcohol misuse is a terrible thing, both for those who do it and who are (IMO) addicted, and for those around them. And you don't need to be an alcoholic to have your health and relationships affected by drinking too much.

    So thank you.

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  • 11. At 10:29pm on 22 May 2008, U10783173 wrote:

    Chris (9) - You should get an adult to explain government advice to you.

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  • 12. At 12:51pm on 23 May 2008, littleFluffyFi wrote:

    Crikey........I live in Runnymede!!

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  • 13. At 1:48pm on 23 May 2008, U10783173 wrote:

    Fi (12) - You sound surprised. Surely you must have known for some time that you live in Runnymede!

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  • 14. At 10:52pm on 23 May 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Runneymede (as FluffyFi surely knows, but Jonnie, apparently, doesn't) is in Berkshire.

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  • 15. At 10:09pm on 25 May 2008, paramedicsteve wrote:

    paramedicsteve as founder of the Don't Walk Away Campaign I would like to bring to your attention my dvd on youtube, Alcohol, Don't walk away. Lord Ara Darzi has recently endorsed my campaign by saying that it was an impressive campaign.

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  • 16. At 12:02pm on 27 May 2008, needsanewnickname wrote:

    Steve, have you got a link? The mods may allow it, who knows?

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  • 17. At 09:07am on 04 Jun 2008, paramedicsteve wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 18. At 6:51pm on 04 Jun 2008, paramedicsteve wrote:

    I would like the Prime Minister Gordon Brown, to save our tax payers money, in trying to find out the safe limit for Alcohol in Young Children, because as a Serving Paramedic of 36 Years and a Campaaigner in the field of Alcohol and Young People, I already know the safe limits for Our Children and that is a BIG Fat ZERO, there is No safe amount of Alcohol for an 8 to 10 year old. There are 100, 10 Year olds in Alcohol Councilling in the UK as I write this, and that is just Wrong. paramedicsteve

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  • 19. At 2:12pm on 23 Jul 2008, iandharrison wrote:

    Is anyone else fed up of all the whining sanctimonious twaddle we hear from regular interviewees on this issue (am today being a good example)They can't see the wood for the trees - officious labelling is NOT the answer - the promotion of responsible drinking IS, but the chancellor and the brewers are combining to ensure that pubs and clubs that take their roles seriously, educating the younger client in the ways of social and moderate drinking, are fast vanishing - over-regulation and taxation being the causes. For Pete's sake you quangoites and politicians - get a life - start to think in different ways!
    Their consensus seems to be: 'stick warning labels on everything' - pure rubbish - we are so overwhelmed with warning notices that we don't bother reading them anymore. For example, if one of each of the warning signs around my home town of Halifax were assembled they would cover a football pitch (well - approximately...)

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  • 20. At 5:58pm on 01 Aug 2008, goldengardenfairy wrote:

    The drinking problem is nothing to do with the price of alcohol - as with tobacco if it was everyone would have given up by now - it's to do with the depressing nature of society we live in - look at the government, not just this labour one but the past or possibly future conservative one - all crap, all lie, all hypocritcal - we're taxed like crazy if we get off our ass and do something with our life, the cost of mortgages or rent is so high that those onlower incomes suffer, the environment's going to hell in a hand cart, most youngsters have been told if they don't go to university and get a degree they will be a failure and on top of that this is supposed to be summer!! - don't we all fancy grabbing a bottle sometimes - and this from a dedicated runner and very very infrequent drinker.

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  • 21. At 09:26am on 19 Sep 2008, paramedicsteve wrote:

    AS The Founder of the Don't Walk Away and Leave a Friend to Die Campaign, I have decided that Alcohol, Gun and Knife crime are so linked that I have decided to set up a new initative called "Street Survival Skills" Urban First Aid For Kids. I will be piloting this intitative with a charity called Redeemer Aid UK, this organisation is a group of African NHS workers within Liverpool who wish to engage with Young People within their own and the wider community, we hope to start before Christmas in the Kensington Area of Liverpool before rolling it out UK wide. Paramedic Steve

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  • 22. At 09:34am on 19 Sep 2008, Gillianian wrote:

    Good luck, Steve - I hope you get plenty of support. I hope you've been able to get some financial help and lots of publicity.

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  • 23. At 6:10pm on 22 Oct 2008, COBOL74 wrote:

    OK how about personal responsibility? People should take responsibility for their behaviour.

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  • 24. At 5:41pm on 19 Nov 2008, COBOL74 wrote:

    Ban Alcohol - that would end the problem. We have banned drugs, problem solved! When America banned alcohol it was such success that there were no organised crime gangs left in the USA, which had not infiltrated all areas of the police, judiciary or Politicians with graft.

    Whats the next problem, Global Warming - ban it! there you go problem solved - any more issues?

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  • 25. At 12:41pm on 09 Dec 2008, emarinuk wrote:

    Isn't the time of changing the perspective? More taxes is not going to solve the problem. It has not done it and we still not learning.

    We do not just take the thing with a different approach? I am spanish, and I believe we have a much more adult view of the whole issue.

    We do have in Spain a drinking culture. We love to drink, I enjoy my drinks, I have been drunk a few times and I have been dead drunk twice or so. But the main difference between Spain and here is that we do not make such a fuss about alcohol. My experience here is that people looks forward to the weekend to go out and get hammered while in Spain we go out to have a nice time with our friends. And yes, that most of the times involves alcohol.

    I have been told that people does that in order to relax from a stressful week (had this views while in London, which a bit of a stressed city) but, isn't it sad? It seems that the only way of clean your head from work is puking all the shit out of ur bowels. Sad indeed.

    Other people argues that it is because of pubs closing at midnight they have to drink all very quick, again to get drunk and forget. So they get drunk without even enjoying it. But this has a wonderful solution: keep bars open. It can not be more harmful. Most people that leaves the bar at closing time is dead drunk already. Staying longer will not worsen the situation much more.

    And if they get to hospital maybe thats a lesson that should be learnt by everybody. awaking from a drinking night in a hospital, while your stomach is being pumped is not something that you can easily forget. And if after that experience you keep on drinking like an ass, maybe you should get your brains checked out, not your curfew hour.

    Agreeing with COBOL74, it is all about responsability. If people likes to drink, they will keep on drinking, no matter the cost.



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  • 26. At 2:33pm on 18 Dec 2008, roycoun wrote:

    I think that the best way to reduce underage drinking is to increace the legal drinking age to 21 and all off sales can only be purchased by the use of an ID card.
    Any vendor found selling drink whithout checking should have the shop licence removed for good because they have shown that they are not a fit and proper person to sell alcohol.
    this should be done without remorse to appel, won't take long for the message to get round
    Also the drink ID card can be revolked for anyone who is a regular binge drinker

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  • 27. At 07:16am on 22 Mar 2009, Sahart wrote:

    Why do people always think that the answer to a problem is to put more legislation in place (e.g. put up the cost of alcohol; raise the legal age; etc). Doing so just increases the opportunity for more offences being committed. Raising the legal drinking age to 21 will just add the 18 - 21 age group to the number that can offend. How can shopkeepers or publicans know someone is 21, unless you subscribe to the "must carry i.d. at all times" brigade. Better still - how about tatooing everyones birthday on their forearms?
    Has anyone thought that a lot of alcohol related problems are to do with larger social problems, or the lack of proper information and education on the subject? How about trying to improve these?

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