THE number of people admitted to hospital in Worcestershire due to alcohol has risen by 34 per cent in six years, according to new figures.
In 2018-19, there were 13,700 cases – up from 3,500 cases in 2012-13.
In neighbouring Warwickshire the increase is even more dramatic, up 36 per cent from 10,000 to 13,600.
The figures, from the NHS have been described as a ‘ticking time bomb’ by the UK Addiction Treatment (UKAT) Group.
“People here are seemingly struggling with their alcohol consumption; drinking so much alcohol that it is leading to hospitalisation and the diagnosis of further, debilitating conditions, yet the Government continues to have their heads buried in the sand,” said UKAT treatment lead Nuno Albuquerque.
“The problem with alcohol in this country is a ticking time bomb about to explode.
“NHS Hospitals in particular across the West Midlands are crippling under pressures directly attributable to the misuse of alcohol; a drug that is so socially accepted yet so incredibly dangerous. The question is, why do we still not have an alcohol-specific strategy, as promised back in 2018?”
The figures show that across the region men are far more likely to be hospitalised due to alcohol consumption, showing an increase of 64 per cent from 70,380 in 2012-13 to 94,720 in 2018-19, while for women the increase is 36 per cent, from 39,470 to 52,070.
The biggest increases in the region were Herefordshire – up 64 per cent to 4,520; Stoke-on-Trent – up 58 per cent to 9,090; and Solihull – up 53 per cent to 5,240.
Conditions for hospital admission due to alcohol include cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, alcohol poisoning, and alcoholic liver disease.
A spokesperson for Worcestershire County Council said; “Worcestershire has an alcohol admissions rate which is significantly better than England and is one of the lowest rates in the West Midlands.
“We are committed to preventing such issues and to assist with this we commission an evidence based drug and alcohol service and work closely with health partners to provide services for those who are effected by alcohol related issues.
“The range of drug and alcohol services that are available across Worcestershire are available
For help, advice and local alcohol support services, visit www.ukat.co.uk/alcohol/v7/