Swanswell calls for urgent action after worrying rise in alcohol-related liver disease among under 30s

20 March 2013

New figures showing a big increase in the number of hospital admissions for people under 30 with alcohol-related liver disease highlights the need for urgent action to tackle problem drinking, says Swanswell.

The national recovery charity, which wants to achieve a society free from problem alcohol and drug misuse, is responding to research carried out by Balance North East, which found a 117% increase in cases among the under-30s in England, over the last ten years.

Experts at Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, also found that admissions for alcohol-related liver diseases across all ages in England increased from 25,706 in 2002/03 to 49,456 in 2011/12 – a rise of 92%.

Debbie Bannigan, Swanswell’s Chief Executive, said: ‘These figures are a stark reminder that something needs to be done urgently to tackle alcohol misuse and that we need measures like minimum pricing to come in sooner rather than later.

Until recently, it was rare to see cases of alcohol-related liver disease in young people – we’re used to seeing it in older drinkers who’ve had prolonged alcohol use over a long period of time, so it’s very worrying that’s it’s happening more often in younger people too.

The figures highlight that alcohol-related illnesses don’t discriminate and it doesn’t matter how old you are, drinking irresponsibly can still can have a big impact on your health.

Yet, alcohol-related conditions are entirely preventable in the first place by making informed decisions about your alcohol use.

But that can only happen with access to clear information and better education – particularly at a young age - about the risks of drinking too much; something that clearly isn’t happening.

Ultimately, we all have a part to play in tackling alcohol misuse – it’s not something any government, organisation or individual can do on their own.’

If you're worried about your own alcohol use, take a look at our alcohol information pages or take the Fast alcohol screening test (FAST).

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