- Harmful drinking is the biggest risk factor for death, ill-health and disability among 15-49 year-olds in the UK, and the fifth biggest risk factor across all ages
- Alcohol is estimated to cost the NHS £3.5 billion annually
- While overall levels of consumption are falling, around 2.5 million people drink more than 14 units on their heaviest-drinking days
- Around 200,000 children in England live with an alcohol-dependent adult (1)
- in 2014 there were around almost 45,000 alcohol dependent adults living in the South West(2)
Public Health England is supporting Alcohol Awareness Week 2017, which will focus this year on encouraging individuals and their families to start a conversation about problematic alcohol misuse. The campaign aims to break the cycle of silence and stigma that is often experienced by families of individuals who regularly drink to excess.
There are currently over 10 million people in England drinking at levels which increase their risk of health harm. Alcohol related harm is estimated to cost the NHS £.5 billion annually and the latest data from the South West shows that 568 per 1000,000 individuals were treated in hospital for illness or injury resulting from alcohol related harm in 2015/16. In that same year, 46.8 per 100,000 under 18s were admitted to hospital episodes for alcohol specific conditions across the South West, compared to the England average of 37.4 per 100,000. (3) However this figure has decreased from 81 per 100,000 in 2008-9. (4)
Among those aged 15 to 49 in England, alcohol is now the leading risk factor for ill-health, early mortality and disability and the fifth leading risk factor for ill health across all age groups. (5) In 2016 an estimated 44.6 per 100,000 alcohol related deaths occurred in the South West.
Ian Keasy, Alcohol lead for Public Health England South West health and wellbeing team, said:
“Far too many people drink at harmful levels without realising the damage they may be doing. Public Health England fully support Alcohol Concern’s aim to support families who are struggling to cope with the effect of harmful drinking on their loved ones.
“The harm alcohol causes is much wider than just on the individual drinker. Excessive alcohol consumption can harm children, wreck families, impact on workplace colleagues and can be a burden and drain on the NHS and economy. It often hits poor communities the hardest.
If you are concerned about how much you are drinking, or want to speak to someone about a family member suffering from the effects or alcohol harm, you can contact Drinkline for a free, confidential conversation on 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am – 8pm, weekends 11am – 4pm) or visit the Alcohol Concern website for further resources – https://www.alcoholconcern.org.uk/Pages/Category/help-and-support.”Follow