Friday, 23 May 2008

New figures expose harmful effect of binge and under-age drinking

Alcohol misuse fuelling yob behaviour and hospital admissions soar

Giles McNeill, Nettleham Parish Councillor, this week expressed his concern over new official figures that have revealed a soaring number of hospital admissions due to alcohol misuse, and the effect of alcohol in pushing up crime and disorder.

According to research by the NHS Information Centre:
· The number of admissions to NHS hospital due to alcohol has soared by 52 per cent over the last decade.
· 1 in 10 of all these incidents now involves those under 18 – the legal drinking age.

· Across the East Midlands, there were16,016 hospital admissions due to alcohol last year.

· 1 in 3 of all 15 year olds think it is acceptable to get drunk at least once a week.

· Half of all violent attacks are committed by those under the influence of alcohol.
Growing alcohol misuse has coincided with new 24 hour licensing laws imposed by the Government, and a failure to enforce effectively the laws, which exist against under-age drinking. The Government has also raided budgets for the promotion of healthy living to meet NHS deficits.

Giles McNeill said:
“There’s nothing wrong with adults having a good night out, but under-age and binge drinking fuels crime and anti-social behaviour. Labour Ministers talk endlessly about cracking down on alcohol-related violence, but these new figures expose Gordon Brown’s complacency and the knock-on effect on the NHS.

“The Labour Government’s failure to enforce the law sends totally the wrong message about under-age drinking. We need greater social responsibility, more powers for local communities over licensing, and an end to some parents turning a blind eye to their children’s drinking.”