Alcohol abuse in young 'soaring'31st December 2008
New government figures for England have shown that the number of young people admitted to hospital with liver disease linked to drinking too much alcohol has soared.
The data reveals that hospital admissions for alcoholic liver disease among the 18-40 age group rose from 2,967 in 1997/98 to 6,495 in 2006/07.
Across all age groups in 2006/07, there were 43,548 hospital admissions for alcoholic liver disease while 27,040 hospital admissions were linked to the toxic effects of alcohol.
Of the 158,656 admissions for mental health problems related to drinking, 6,612 included young people under 17.
Liberal Democrat MP Paul Burstow, who obtained the figures, said: "These figures expose an iceberg effect where enormous problems are being stored up for the NHS in the future.
"Alcoholic liver damage takes 10-20 years to develop, so in the past it did not became apparent until people were in their 50s or 60s.
"But these figures show a growing trend with people who are in their thirties being diagnosed with liver disease caused by alcohol consumption. Behind these figures are huge human and financial costs."
The government has recently launched a £10m campaign to raise awareness of alcohol and its effects. Ministers have also pledged to tackle the problem with a pledge to "reduce the health and social harms caused by alcohol".
Alcohol Concern chief executive Don Shenker said he was not surprised by the figures because young people were now drinking much more than people of their age did some 10 or 20 years ago.
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Title: Alcohol abuse in young 'soaring'
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 9682
Date Added: 31st Dec 2008