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Alcohol blackspot is the north west

18th December 2008

New evidence has indicated that the north west is the region of England facing the biggest problems with alcohol.

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The North West Public Health Observatory compiled a table of alcohol blackspots and found that seven areas in that part of the country were in the top 10 in England.

With alcohol-related conditions continuing to rise, the experts have drawn up the list in an attempt to assess the impact of alcohol on local communities, based on factors such as hospital admissions, premature deaths and crime.

Figures show that in 2006/07, there were around 800,000 alcohol-related hospital admissions in England, a rise of 9% in a year, and that 63% of local authority areas showed an increase, with just 6% registering a decrease.

The 10 worst affected areas are: Manchester, Salford, Liverpool, Middlesbrough, Rochdale, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kingston-upon-Hull, Halton, Tameside and Oldham.

Professor Mark Bellis, director of the observatory, said: "Rises in alcohol-related health problems reflect not only weekend binge drinking but also how use of alcohol on a nightly basis continues to erode our health.

"Further increases in alcohol problems are in store if we continue to focus on the symptoms of alcohol misuse, like night life violence and ill health, but ignore the causes such as cheap alcohol and a lack of recognition that alcohol is a dangerous drug."

Alcohol Concern said the findings showed that public health campaigns and soft-touch regulation of the industry were not working.

The Department of Health say new standards will be imposed on the alcohol industry.

 

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