This week has been busy for news on alcohol!
The Budget on Wednesday (21 March) confirmed a 2% above inflation rise on alcohol duty and then yesterday (22 March) the National End of Life Care Intelligence Network reported that the number of people dying from liver disease had increased by 25% from 2001-2009.
The lead item on the BBC news today (23 March) is a proposed minimum pricing of alcohol at a suggested 40p per unit.
This proposal is one of a number of new initiatives which the Government has included in its new Alcohol Strategy 2012.
Other commitments include:
- To consult on a ban on the sale of multi-buy alcohol discounting
- The introduction of stronger powers for local areas to control the density of licensed premises
- A new late night levy on businesses selling alcohol late into the night
- The piloting of ‘sobriety schemes’ to challenge alcohol-related offending
- Challenging the alcohol industry to meet a new set of commitments under the Responsibility Deal to reduce alcohol misuse
- Work with the advertising authorities to minimise the harmful effects of alcohol marketing to people under the age of 18
- Making alcohol harm a key feature of a new youth marketing programme
- A review of the alcohol guidelines for adults, including older people and pregnant women
Warwickshire Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) welcomes the new strategy as a step in the right direction to reducing the significant harms caused by alcohol misuse.
In Warwickshire, alcohol misuse is having devastating effects on the lives of individuals, their families and the wider community:
- Estimates suggest that over 20,000 adults in Warwickshire are drinking at levels that are harmful or hazardous to their health.
- The rate of alcohol-related hospital admissions in Warwickshire has increased year on year since 2002/03, rising from 689 per 100,000 residents in 2002/03 to 1,696 per 100,000 in 2010/11.
- In 2010/11, there were 2,948 alcohol-related crimes recorded in Warwickshire.
- In 2009 and 2010, a total of 31 accidental dwelling fires in Warwickshire were suspected to be drink or drug related.
Over the coming weeks, the DAAT will be considering the Government’s Alcohol Strategy in some depth and will use it to form the basis of a refresh to the Warwickshire Partnership Action Plan on Alcohol.
Concerned about your own or someone else’s alcohol use? Visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/alcohol for information about local services.