Startling statistics on alcohol misuse show the strain our hospitals are under as deaths from liver disease reach record levels.
Figures for 2010-11 show there were 125,000 alcohol-related hospital admissions across West Sussex with 68,944 cases being seen in A&E. Most of the patients admitted were men aged between 55 and 74.
The number of ‘alcohol related’ attendances for the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton for a 12 month period ending on October 30 this year was 2,390.
Holly Margetts, working to tackle alcohol misuse with the NHS in Sussex, said: “When we talk about alcohol we tend to focus on binge drinking, under-age drinking and people who get drunk and violent in the street.
“Actually, we have a large number of people who are not binge drinkers or under-age but are still damaging their health by drinking too much.
“There are an increasing number of people who will drink in the privacy of their own homes and drink more than the recommended amounts of alcohol.”
NHS Sussex has launched a quick and easy online test, ‘Don’t Bottle It Up’, to help people to think about how much they drink and the risks involved. Go to: dontbottleitup.org.uk
Holly said: “By starting to have these honest conversations with ourselves and each other, we can start to reduce the effects of alcohol on our health.
This month, Dame Sally Davies revealed in her first annual report as the Government’s Chief Medical Officer that death from liver disease among the under-65s rose by 20 per cent between 2000 and 2009.
She said: “Liver disease is the only major cause of mortality and morbidity that is on the increase in England while decreasing among our European neighbours.”