New statistics released by Alcohol Concern have shed light on the booze crisis currently taking hold in Britain.
According to the charity, the NHS is facing “intolerable strain” from people needing help for alcohol-related problems.
In just one year alone (between 2012 – 2013), 9.9 million people in England were admitted to hospital, either in the form of A&E visits or as outpatients.
This is a significant rise compared to stats from 2011-2012, which showed only 1.2 million alcohol admissions were made in one year.
Alcohol Concern fear millions of people in Britain are drinking more than six to eight units of alcohol a day.
Using their own Alcohol Harm Map, the charity was able to identify that men aged 55-75 were the most likely to be hospitalised for alcohol abuse.
It was also found that people living in the South East are the highest risk drinkers, while the most alcohol-related deaths (3,501 in 2012) occurred in the North East.
Interestingly the map highlighted the serious medical problems that can result from consuming too much alcohol, and how much of a cost burden this is for the NHS.
The stats showed almost half of all head and neck cancer patient admissions were alcohol-related, while just over 13% of all malignant tumours of breast cancer patients were linked to alcohol abuse.
In total, these admissions cost the NHS £92.4 million.
It is hoped the Alcohol Harm Map – which includes data for each local authority area and all 211 clinical commissioning groups in England – will help to ensure everyone receives appropriate treatment.
The charity is also calling on the Government to improve alcohol education, or face a “public health crisis” which will cost billions.
The charity’s chief executive, Jackie Ballard, said: “The NHS is now facing an intolerable strain from alcohol-related illnesses. This is not just from readily-identifiable causes such as A&E visits and admissions for liver disease, but from a significant number of other conditions in which alcohol plays a major, but often under appreciated part.
“We urgently need action to prevent alcohol misuse. The first and most effective of which is for the Government to implement a minimum unit price, which has the potential to save the economy millions, and most importantly save lives.”