Gateshead Council, health experts and emergency services have now joined forces to tackle the problem. They have signed a ‘Local Government Declaration on Alcohol’ to address the issues.
Alcohol-related problems are costing Gateshead £82.9million a year – or £433 per capita, per year. Alcohol harm is staggering and every fourth adult consumes alcohol at increasing and higher risk levels – creating a ticking health timebomb.
Hospital admissions due to alcohol-related cancer and alcoholic liver diseases have increased by a staggering 50% in the past 10 years. In Gateshead, a city of 78,400 inhabitants, there are 13,500 people suffering from alcohol addiction. Gateshead Council, health experts and emergency services have now joined forces to tackle the problem. They have signed a ‘Local Government Declaration on Alcohol’ to address the issues.
Gateshead has some of the worst rates of alcohol harm in the England with the North East topping the tables for the highest rate of alcohol related hospital admissions as well as the second highest rate of alcohol-related deaths for men.
- Around 100 people per year die due to alcohol.
- In 2013/14, there were over 5,000 hospital admissions due to illnesses related to alcohol.
- In 2014/15, over 1,000 crime incidents in Gateshead were alcohol-related.
- In 2014/15, over 1,000 incidents of reported anti-social behaviour were alcohol-related.
Alcohol harm is clearly having an impact on frontline services, from the NHS, to the police, to GPs, to the ambulance and fire services and social services.
Carole Wood, Gateshead Director of Public Health, said:
“[W]e must highlight alcohol as one of the most important public health problems we face today, with rising levels of harm linked to increased levels of [alcohol use] over the past few decades. Only by working together will we be able to turn this around.”
The commitments set out in the Declaration include:
- Promoting the introduction of greater regulations around the price, promotion and availability of alcohol.
- Calling for changes to the Licensing Act in favour of local authorities and communities, to enable greater control on the number, density and availability of alcohol according to local requirements.
- Putting public health and community safety at the forefront of public policy-making about alcohol.
- Making best use of existing licensing powers to ensure effective management of the night-time economy.
- Raising awareness of the harm caused by alcohol to individuals and communities.
Source Website: Chronicle Live