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Greater Manchester alcohol-related hospital admissions up more than 130% in the last decade, new data shows

By James Haviland

Alcohol-related hospital admissions for Greater Manchester have risen by 11% on last year and over 130% in eight years according to new data.

Although the statistics released by the North West Public Health Observatory show the rate of increase is about the national average, Manchester City Centre, Tameside and Trafford all saw significantly higher increases over the eight year period.

Michael Linnell of The Lifeline Project, which helps individuals and families deal with alcohol and drug abuse, described alcohol as the major problem affecting Manchester and the North West.

He said: “It is the drug that causes the most problems, by far, affecting all age groups from young to old and all classes.

“Although the use of alcohol has fallen by young people, those drinking seem to be drinking more and the big rise of alcohol harm has been seen in older people regardless of social class.”

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley blamed reckless Labour policies such as 24-drinking on the rise pointing to a serious problem with binge drinking and long-term excessive alcohol abuse in a minority of people.

“These consistent rises show that Labour took their eye off the ball on tackling alcohol abuse during their 13 years in power.

“Unlike the last government, we have taken real action by imposing high taxes on super strength beers and ciders and banning below cost alcohol sales.”

Shadow public health minister, Diane Abbott, said the figures showed that alcohol admissions were spiralling out of control.

“The alarm bells should be ringing with the publication of these figures. It is clear that this government is rapidly pushing us towards a binge-drinking crisis.”

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