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alcohol health alliance uk

Balance response to Statistics on Alcohol 2012

Posted 31/05/12

Alcohol statistics issued today (May 31) by the NHS Information Centre further evidence the need for a range of meaningful measures to tackle the problems caused by alcohol misuse, says Balance, the North East Alcohol Office.

Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, said: “Despite recent figures which suggest a slow-down in the rate of increase and a downward trend in the proportion of adults who reported drinking in the previous week, the North East continues to have the highest rate of alcohol related hospital admissions in England.

“We also continue to have the highest proportion of pupils who are drinking, despite a national fall in the number admitting to consuming alcohol. Worryingly, pupils in the North East are consuming more than pupils in other English regions.”

The report outlines a significant increase in the amount of alcohol purchased for home consumption, while buying outside the home fell by almost half. It also shows that alcohol was 45% more affordable in 2011 than it was in 1980.

Colin added: “It’s no coincidence that as alcohol becomes more affordable, the amount of alcohol purchased from supermarkets and off licences increases and so do the problems that we face at the hands of alcohol misuse. This is why the introduction of a minimum unit price, backed by Government and due for consultation later this year, is key to turning back the tide of alcohol misuse.

“It’s a targeted measure that will have the greatest impact on heavier and younger drinkers who traditionally purchase cheap, strong alcohol, while having little to no impact on moderate drinkers and the price of a pint in a community pub.”