Swanswell calls for action following a 139% increase in alcohol-related hospital admissions over the last ten years

30 May 2013

Swanswell’s encouraging a greater focus on prevention after  new figures reveal a 26% increase in alcohol-related deaths in England in the last ten years.

The national recovery charity, which wants to achieve a society free from problem alcohol and drug use, is responding to the latest reports from the Government’s Health and Social Care Information Centre called ‘Statistics on Alcohol: England, 2013’1.

The report says there were 6,923 deaths directly related to alcohol in 2011 (the latest reported figures), compared to  5,476 in 2001, a 26% increase. In the last decade, the number of hospital admissions of people with an alcohol-related disease, injury or condition has more than doubled, rising from 510,700 to 1,220,300.

The cost to the NHS of prescriptions for the treatment of alcohol dependency  has also escalated from £1.72 million in 2001 to £2.49 million, a 43% increase and the number of people being treated for alcohol dependency has increased by 63% to 167,764  in 2011 from 102,741 in 2001.

Debbie Bannigan, Swanswell’s Chief Executive, said: ‘When compared to figures released 10 years ago, the enormity of the increase in the number of people affected by alcohol misuse and the cost of that increase to society is stark and should act as a catalyst for change. Any alcohol-related death is preventable.’

Since 2001, we have seen a large increase in alcohol-related deaths and hospital admissions, but it doesn’t have to be this way.’

‘Many of these deaths will be attributed to health issues that have developed as a result of long term harmful drinking behaviour. However, the reality is that many people don’t consider their alcohol consumption to be harmful or look ahead to see how what they’re doing today will impact on their health in the future.’

‘The government is still considering  minimum alcohol pricing, which could be a great first step, but this alone won’t solve the problem.  Consideration also needs to be given to how alcohol is promoted and used by society.’

‘There needs to be more emphasis on alcohol education, particularly in schools, and clear information about the risks associated with alcohol so people can make sensible, informed choices,  change their behaviour and reduce the potential harm to their health.’

‘Ultimately, alcohol misuse is not something that any government, organisation or individual can do on their own – we all have a part to play.’

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