Suffolk: Health chief reveals there is a death every 48 hours in the county from alcohol-related conditions

SUFFOLK is seeing a death every other day from alcohol-related conditions, prompting a health expert to warn people to drink more responsibly.

Sally Hogg, assistant director of public health at NHS Suffolk, revealed the alarming statistic as she urged people across the county to take a more controlled approach to their drinking.

It comes as new figures reveal that more than 150 children - some as young as 13 - have been admitted to Suffolk hospitals after drinking excess alcohol over the last five years.

A current push to end the sale of super-strong lager in Ipswich and tackle anti-social boozing - called Reducing the Strength - is attracting national headlines but Mrs Hogg said there was a much broader issue with excessive drinking in communities right across Suffolk.

She explained last year there were 13,000 hospital admissions involving alcohol-related illnesses or conditions and many people were now drinking every day and consuming much more than is recommended.

She said: “Every other day somebody in Suffolk will die from an alcohol-related condition.

“Super-strength alcohol, you can say, is an issue for street drinkers but alcohol (consumption) generally shows the figures are going up quite tremendously. We don’t want to stop people having a glass of wine or pint of beer but it’s really about trying to stay within the recommended alcohol levels and trying not to drink every night.”

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She said the rise in everyday drinking could be down to factors including stress and work pressures. She added regular over-consumption of alcohol could impact on physical health and mental wellbeing and have a knock-on effect on work, family and relationships.

“The long-term effects impact on the liver, heart, stomach and hurt all sort of things,” she added.

“In some ways it’s insidious because having two or three glasses of wine every night with a meal is perfectly normal behaviour but it can get out of control.

“It’s not about preaching in any way, shape or form.”

Reducing the Strength was launched last week with stores including Tesco, the East of England Co-op and McColls newsagents signing up to remove the products from their shelves.

Suffolk police, NHS Suffolk, Ipswich Borough Council and Suffolk County Council have all backed the initiative which is targeted at beers and ciders with an alcohol volume of 6.5% or more.