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Alcohol contributes to a wide range of conditions including cardiovascular disease, cancer and liver disease, as well as harm from accidents, violence and self-harm. 12 to 15% of A&E attendances are alcohol-related and over 1.1m hospital admissions each year have alcohol as a causal factor in the patient's diagnosis.
In England, the average age at death of those dying from an alcohol-specific cause is 54.3 years. The average age of death from all causes is 77.6 years. More working years of life are lost in England because of alcohol-related deaths than from cancer of the lung, bronchus, trachea, colon, rectum, brain, pancreas, skin, ovary, kidney, stomach, bladder and prostate, combined.
The harm from alcohol is not equally distributed among the population and alcohol dependence is particularly correlated with deprivation. Alcohol misuse rates for the most deprived are more than double those for the least deprived and those from lower socioeconomic circumstances experience higher levels of alcohol-related mortality. Individuals living in high deprivation areas suffer disproportionate alcohol-related harm at a given level of alcohol consumption compared to people in low deprivation areas.>>.
The government has been bending over backwards to help pubs survive their natural destruction by the real forces of the market (people making sensible choices - and that's hardly a common event in our times). With the NHS, accident and emergency wards, ambulances, GP surgeries all clearly suffering extreme pressure, is now the time to pump tax payers' money into fuelling alcohol addiction?