Teesside centres opening to look after drunk people
Centres to help people recover after binge drinking are being planned for Teesside.
Middlesbrough could see its first alcohol recovery centre open in November, with another proposed for Redcar later.
Michael Souter from the Lifeline Project said the centre would relieve the pressure on hospitals.
Figures show huge rises in the number of drinkers being admitted after binge sessions.
The plans are a collaboration between the Lifeline Project, South Tees NHS Trust, the Public Health Commission and local councils.
Mr Souter said: "We are going to create a place of safety where vulnerable intoxicated people can be monitored without the need for a visit to hospital.
"This should free up the ambulance service and beds within the A&E departments."
Figures from Public Health England show there were more 30,000 hospital admissions due to alcohol last year, nearly 600 more than the previous year.
Liver specialist Sir Ian Gilmore told BBC Tees the centres would provide a safe haven for drinkers.
But he said more needed to be done to stop binge drinking in the first place.
He said: "It's rather like providing slippers to stop drunken girls falling off their heels and breaking their ankles - it's damage limitation and is not tackling the fundamental issue of what's driving them to go out and behave in this way. "It is a culture change we need."