HEALTH bosses are planning new strategies for tackling people’s alcohol problems in Yorkshire.
Chiefs from NHS Yorkshire and the Humber met to discuss ways of reducing anti-social behaviour, violence and deaths that are caused by excessive drinking.
The organisation will spend an extra £7m this year on drug and alcohol treatments and awareness campaigns highlighting the dangers of drinking to excess.
The aim of the big spend is to change people’s attitude to drinking. Almost a million people in Yorkshire have an alcohol problem – with more than a third of adults in the area drinking more than the recommended maximum levels.
Only two other regions in England have worse binge drinking records.
Prof Paul Johnson, director of public health for NHS Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “Deaths from chronic liver disease have almost doubled in Yorkshire and the Humber in the past 10 years.
“In parts of the region, admissions to hospital as a result of alcohol are raising steadily, this is something we must change.
“We are offering clear guidance about the effects of alcohol and what is not safe and sensible.
“Drinking alcohol to excess can cause all kinds of different health problems,” said Prof Johnson.
“We can’t stress enough how important it is to drink alcohol in moderation.”
Drinking to excess can cause cirrhosis of the liver and cancers of the breast, larynx and liver – as well as many other conditions. Drink-related incidents and illness cost the NHS Yorkshire and the Humber £1.7m every year.
Lord Ara Darzi is currently conducting an NHS review, looking at every area of health including alcohol misuse.
The results of his report will be published on May 14 and will be used to inform efforts to tackle alcohol problems by NHS Yorkshire and the Humber.