Campaigns for Sensible Drinking Have Failed to Work

NHS has reported that more than 150,000 people were forced to rely on medication to fight their alcohol dependency last year. The total of 150,445 was 12 per cent up on 2008 and the figures have increased by 46 per cent since 2003.

The figures revealed that GPs issued more than 150,000 prescriptions last year to the drinkers to help them beat alcohol addiction. The findings raise concerns that campaigns for sensible drinking are not working.

Most of them received two particular drugs, one that treats withdrawal symptoms and another used to stop alcoholics drinking by making them vomit if they fall off the wagon.

The total cost of these drugs was £2.38million.

The Department of Health also said that there were 6,769 deaths in the year 2008 which were directly related to alcohol, an increase of 24 per cent since 2001. Also the alcoholic liver diseases have increased up to
36 per cent from 3,236 cases in 2001 to 4,400 in 2008. There were also 1,367 deaths due to alcohol-related fibrosis and cirrhosis of the liver.

The majority of those who regularly exceed the recommended limits of drinking alcohol are more likely to work in office jobs, and range in age from their mid twenties to early sixties.

The data from NHS Information Centre also revealed that almost three in 10 men reported drinking more than the recommended 21 units a week, with almost one in five women (19 per cent) consuming more than the recommended 14 units in a week.

Professor Ian Gilmore, President of the Royal College of Physicians, said Middle-class professionals were most likely to have consumed alcohol in the previous week - 79 per cent of professional men and 67 per cent of women.