Question: How much have emergency admissions risen due to the effects of alcohol in the past nine years?
Answer: More than 50% – They have risen to 250,000 a year in England
Statistics from the Nuffield Trust revealed that rates were highest in deprived areas and in the north of England, and among men aged 45-64.
Hospital visits for alcohol poisoning have also doubled in six years, with the highest rate among young women, particularly 15-19 year-olds!
Although these results seem high, they might not be accurate. The Nuffield Trust actually said that their figures were an underestimate of the impact of drinking! This is because the figures did not include alcohol-fuelled fights and falls. The figures only showed illnesses such as alcohol poisoning and liver disease.
Nor do they count people who come to A&E drunk and are then sent home without being treated or admitted as a patient.
Alcohol poisoning happens when a person drinks a toxic amount of alcohol, usually over a short period of time. Half of all the A&E attendances likely to be attending due to alcohol poisoning took place on a Friday, Saturday or a Sunday between midnight and 2am.
The NHS have said that any increase in alcohol related causes means that they struggle to get to all of their other emergencies, which are equally important. In many cases, these are individuals who haven’t behaved responsibly, and therefore they are having to respond to numerous alcohol related causes which could be avoided.
In England in 2013, approximately 18% of men and 13% of women drank at a level considered to be putting them at increased risk of harm and in 2013/14, approximately 1 in 20 emergency admissions in England were related to alcohol.
In recent years, it seems as though alcohol admissions have been going down in Scotland and stabilising in Wales.
Do you have any past experiences relating to alcohol poisoning or liver disease? We would love to hear your thoughts.