Alcohol-Related Deaths Rising in Newcastle

Most people are cognisant of the dangers of drinking too much, especially since the UK Government changed the alcohol guidelines for men to bring these in line with those for women. Early in 2016, Professor Dame Sally Davies, England’s chief medical officer announced that men were to be advised to drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week, down from 21 units. She also advised that people have at least two alcohol-free days per week.

As part of these announcements, it was revealed that there is no safe level of drinking when it comes to certain illnesses such as cancer. However, because alcohol is legal and a socially acceptable substance, many individuals just do not comprehend the dangers.

Dangers of Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that affects every cell in the body. As it is a toxin, it can damage organs, and those who drink to excess regularly are at risk of many illnesses, which can include liver disease and heart problems.

The more alcohol a person consumes, the higher his or her risk of developing an addiction to this substance, which can then lead to mental health issues such as anxiety disorder and chronic depression.

Those affected by alcohol addiction may suffer financial hardship, damage to relationships and a host of mental and physical health problems. Alcoholism left untreated can eventually lead to death.

Increased Deaths

Figures recently released by Public Health England have revealed that alcohol-related deaths are increasing in Newcastle. The city has seen a thirty per cent increase in the number of individuals who are dying from health issues related to alcohol. The figure for alcohol-related deaths in England is 46 per 100,000. However, that number is 1.4 times higher for Newcastle at 64 deaths per 100,000. The figure for the South Tyneside region is only slightly better at 62 deaths per 100,000.

One of the top causes of deaths in Newcastle is liver disease, with many younger people affected. Sadly, most cases of liver disease are related to obesity and alcohol consumption and are entirely preventable.

The financial strain of alcoholism on the NHS equates to around £3.5 billion every year. However, alcohol misuse costs the economy as a whole around £21 billion per year.

Colin Shevills is the director of the Balance North East Alcohol Office, and he said, “We know that the North East has some of the worst problems with alcohol in the country, as these new figures all too clearly indicate. Alcohol is a poison with links to more than 60 health conditions including cancer, yet far too many people remain unaware of the serious damage it can to do.”

Mr Shevills pointed out that while the North East is doing a lot to tackle the harm alcohol poses, more help is needed from the Government. He said that the Government needs to ‘get rid of the cheapest, strongest alcohol to protect children and other vulnerable groups’.

Consequences of Alcohol Abuse and Addiction

As well as deaths from health problems, alcohol abuse and addiction can lead many sufferers to take their lives. Problem drinkers are more likely to commit suicide than those who do not drink heavily. Alcohol is also closely related to domestic violence and neglect, with many children of alcoholic parents ending up in the care system.

While many alcoholics manage to hold down a job and keep their families together, countless others are consumed by their addiction and lose everything they once held dear. It is not uncommon for alcoholics to lose their jobs, homes and families because of their addiction.

Alcoholism can also have an effect on innocent victims. Many people commit crimes while intoxicated; others take unnecessary risks, such as driving while inebriated. This can result in dangerous accidents and loss of life.


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