SWPHO: STATISTICS ON HAZARDOUS DRINKERS
Almost 25% of 16-64-year olds in the south west – about 750,000 people – are "hazardous" drinkers, and over 100,000 are dependent on alcohol, according to statistics from the South West Public Health Observatory.
It states that over 500 adolescents aged under 18 are admitted to hospital specifically due to alcohol each year in the south west, with boys and girls equally likely to be admitted. And drink-driving is estimated to account for over 168 serious injuries and about 50 road deaths in the region each year.
The SWPHO warns that hazardous drinking can double men’s risk of liver disease, raised blood pressure, some cancers and violent death. In women, it increases the risk of liver disease and breast cancer.
According to the 1992 government White Paper, sensible drinking limits were defined as a weekly alcohol consumption of less than 21 units for men and less than 14 units for women.
Health authorities and agencies in the region, which covers Devon, Cornwall, Isles of Scilly, Avon, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Dorset and Wiltshire, are now working together to develop a joint strategy to support those whose drinking is out of control.
The South West Public Health Observatory was created in 2005. Its key tasks include monitoring health and disease trends.