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The Vote: Official alcohol reports: All a blur?

And would you ignore a big warning label about the dangers of drink?

Published on September 3rd 2010.


The Vote: Official alcohol reports: All a blur?

LIVERPOOL cannot take its ale, it's official.

The city has been named as a booze blackspot in England with the highest rate of drink-related hospital admissions in both adults and under18s.

The damning report (reports about alcohol are always damning), released by the North West Public Health Observatory, showed alcoholism in England is on the rise with 945,469 alcohol-related hospital admissions in 2008/09, this amounts to 825 more cases per-day than five years ago. But are all those numbers are swirling around in front of your eyes, as if you had just fallen out of the pub.

In other words, do they mean anything to you, or are you all binge-'n'-broken-Britain'd out?

What they do signal, according to the blurb, is a “worrying geographical divide” in the impact alcohol is having on health in the country.

Two-thirds of the areas with the highest harm levels were in the North, Liverpool coming third in this list behind Manchester and Salford.

Dr Ruth Hussey, Regional Director of Public Health for the North West said the report is a stark reminder of the problems the area faces in its battle with alcohol abuse.

Professor Mark Bellis, Director of the North West Public Health Observatory went further, and said: “It is time to recognise that we are not a population of responsible drinkers with just a handful of irresponsible individuals ruining it for others.”

We can't take our drink.

Why? Well perhaps, at least locally, it's to do with climate - the financial

clouds as well as the rainy ones - and all other manner of social and geographical storms that we northerners frequently must weather if we are going to stick around. For many, a bevvy or many is the ingrained culture.

But for the health watchdogs there appears to be a simple solution: “We need to see the real cost of alcohol reflected in the price it is sold at and the warnings about the dangers that alcohol represents not relegated to a tiny corner in alcohol adverts, but written large enough for people to recognise the seriousness of the risks,” says Prof Bellis.

It might be a start, but is it any more than that? Would a big warning about the dangers of drink, like they have in some US states, make you change your behaviour?

Are these constant reports and studies enough to send you reaching for the cocoa and the news on a Saturday night?

Or do these surveys merely provide you and your friends with something to tut-tut about at dinner parties as you knock back the endless Jacob's Creek?

Do tell.

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Nick KeggSeptember 2nd 2010.

Most accidents occur in the home. The Government should evict the poor from their houses....this would also help the mortgage lenders out as eviction can be a costly business if you go through the courts

Nan E. StaytSeptember 2nd 2010.

The Government should have the bankers nailed to the outside walls of off-licences so even the penniless can laugh themselves bilious when they go there.

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