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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Booze epidemic costing Cumbria £20m a year, says national charity

A “booze epidemic” is costing Cumbrian health chiefs almost £20 million a year – and has claimed the lives of 163 drinkers in a year.

The figures, released by Alcohol Concern, showed, like the national situation, that those suffering the most are aged 55 to 74.

Alcohol Concern has produced an ‘Alcohol Harm Map’, which breaks down the level of booze abuse in every county in England.

Local health officials have condemned the findings.

Prof John Ashton, Cumbria’s director of public health, said the figures “laid bare the social and financial cost of Cumbria’s booze epidemic”.

The statistics reveal that 23 per cent of people are drinking at a level that increases the risk of damage to their health. This is exactly in line with the north west’s regional average, and costs the NHS £19.2m per year.

A further eight per cent of Cumbrians are drinking at a level which puts their health at even greater risk. They cost the NHS an estimated £6.8m per year.

In 2009, the most recent year with statistics published, 163 people died as a result of alcohol-related illnesses - up on the 112 regional average. Around a third – 53 – were women and 62 were down to chronic liver failure.

Alcohol misuse costs each adult in Cumbria £78 a day, compared to a regional average of £86.

Mr Ashton suggested setting a minimum price on alcoholic drinks might help the problem.

“While this step would help to curb some of the cheap supermarket booze we see on offer, it would not affect the vast majority of responsible pubs and drinkers,” he said. “We owe it to ourselves and our children to take this step.”

Helen Davies, young people’s service manager at the Cumbria Alcohol and Drug Advisory Service (Cadas) said the figures did not come as a big surprise to her.

She said common reasons for people drinking heavily included bereavement, stress and the current economic situation.

She added: “We do seem to have a culture in Cumbria around alcohol and its excessive use. If we could find out what that’s about we could tackle it from the root problem.”

More information at www.cadas.co.uk



Have your say

Carlisle is full of Over Weight, outrageously un-fit fatties!!
I would hazard a guess that anyone who complains about the people who are telling us to get with the programme are in the fat community!

Posted by Bobby Dash on 14 October 2012 at 16:45

What is a real job? A large portion of the manufacturing industry involves people making products which are completely unneccessary and of no real use to mankind or the world e.g. banana protectors. Alcohol concern etc have helped many people and do actually provide a useful service to people.

Posted by Kevin on 14 October 2012 at 15:53

View all 6 comments on this article

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