Cheap alcohol will end up costing hospitals a fortune

14 February 2011

Rising sales of cut-price alcohol will dramatically increase the number of people being admitted to hospital for drink-related problems, it has been claimed.

According to new research from Alcohol Concern, the number of patients admitted to hospital as a result of drinking could rise to 1.5 million a year between now and 2015.

The charity claims that this could end up costing the NHS alone £3.7 billion each year.

Between 2002-03 and 2009-10 the number of people treated for alcohol problems on hospital wards leapt from 500,000 to 1.1 million.

Don Shenker, chief executive at Alcohol Concern, said: "As problem drinking costs the country so dear, a modest investment in supporting problem drinkers will lead to a three-fold saving, surely a necessity in an economic downturn."

Recently, the Office for National Statistics showed that alcohol deaths have increased steadily over the past two decades, but plummeted in 2009 as a result of the recession.

1 "Hospital admissions for alcohol due to rise to 1.5m per year by 2015". Alcohol Concern. Monday, February 14th 2011.

2 "Alcohol Deaths UK rates fall in 2009". ONS. Thursday, January 27th 2011.

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