Hospital admissions for alcohol problems have risen above 200,000 for the first time ever in England.
These admission numbers only are only part of the story as they only show hospital admissions attributed sole to alcohol. There were 1,220,300 hospital admissions that were either partly of fully attributed to alcohol. That number has doubled since 2003.
Health care professionals are now prescribing 70% more drugs designed to fight alcoholism than they did 10 years ago. That adds up to nearly £3 million which is an increase of nearly 1.3 million since 2003.
These new drugs have a variety of uses including neutralising alcohol in the system to making people feel sick or vomit when they drink even a glass of alcohol.
Dr Nick Sheron, Royal College of Physicians adviser on alcohol, said, “It is extremely important that patients who are dependent on alcohol have access to drugs that can help them recover.
However, the rise in prescriptions of drugs to treat alcohol dependency is indicative of the huge strain alcohol abuse puts on our society.”
The next step in fighting the growing alcohol abuse problem is to identify what has caused this rise in alcohol use. Some theories include a greater pressure from advertisers, lack of education on the outcomes of alcohol abuse or low pricing influencing buying.
Once the underlying cause is identified, it will be up to health officials and politicians to work out a plan of action before this problem can spread any further.
The need for an answer is especially important for men as they make up two thirds of all those admitted to the hospital for alcohol related treatment. As young men in particular seem to be more prone to overindulging, this problem could cause serious health ramifications for an entire generation.