The height of the Covid-19 pandemic saw more than three quarters of a million alcohol-related hospital admissions. Data also shows that the majority of people who ended up in hospital in 2020 were from older generations.
Alcohol-related admissions include excessive consumption, injuries sustained while under the influence, and alcohol-related illnesses.
New data from NHS Digital reveals that there were 773,523 alcohol-related hospital admissions between April and December 2020, with 587,501 of them involving patients over the age of 50.
During the same period, over 300,000 patients aged between 60 and 80 were admitted to hospital, in contrast to fewer than 100,000 admissions in those aged between 20 and 40.
Although the overall figures show a drop in the number of alcohol-related admissions when compared to the same period in 2019, the data is still concerning.
Commenting on the latest figures, Dr Richard Piper, Chief Executive of the charity Alcohol Change UK said: “There is an urgent need to offer high-quality treatment and support for all those who are struggling with their drinking.”
This data comes just six months after experts from the Royal College of Psychiatrists warned that around 8.4 million people drank “high-risk” amounts of alcohol in June 2020, compared to 4.8 million people just four months earlier.
Concerns have already been raised that addiction services may struggle to treat the “huge numbers” of high-risk drinkers due to a lack of funding.
The NHS advises that both men and women should not regularly drink more than 14 units a week. One unit of alcohol is around half a pint of beer or a single measure (25ml) of spirits. A small glass of wine contains about 1.5 units of alcohol.
It is estimated that alcohol misuse currently costs the NHS £3.5 billion a year.
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