Following the publication of Local Alcohol profiles, the ALMR has welcomed the encouraging decreases in alcohol-related hospital admissions and praised the work of the on-trade in helping support healthy drinking practices.
Alcohol-related hospital admissions for under-18s have fallen 50% for males and 42% for females since 2008/9. Alcohol – related admissions for under-40s have also fallen 12.5% over five years.
ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “We are looking at a decrease in the number of admissions for alcohol-related conditions over the past 12 months suggesting that messages around responsible consumption are getting through and having a very real impact. The rate of alcohol-specific admissions has fallen by 2.5% over the year, a continuation of a downward trend over the past five years.
“Perhaps most encouragingly, we are seeing a considerable decrease in alcohol-specific admissions for under-18s and alcohol-related admissions for under-40s. These stats would appear to back up the ALMR’s recent research that younger customers are approaching alcohol in a fundamentally different way to previous generations. Pubs and restaurants have worked, and are continuing to work, hard to provide safe environments for customers and to encourage responsible retailing and safe drinking practices.
“Encouragingly, although there are still increases in admissions for middle aged and older drinkers, these are relatively small and are flattening off. These drinkers are much more likely to drink at home, outside of a supervised sociable environment and the recent Beer Barometer figures show continued growth in the off-trade compared to a sustained drop in on-trade beer sales. It is here where public health policy should be focused.
“It may also be worth noting that recent decreases have occurred before the change in the Chief Medical officer’s guidelines. A moderate, responsible message seems to have been hitting home with customers and changes to the guidelines may run the risk of undermining that progress.”