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Town bucks the trend of alcohol abuse
ALCOHOL misuse is below average in Swindon despite it still costing tax payers £11.6m last year, a map showing the effects of alcohol in various regions has shown.
Alcohol Concern is the national charity on alcohol misuse and it has created a website which shows statistics on alcohol misuse for local authorities across the country.
The stats highlight that 21 per cent of people in Swindon are drinking at a level which increases the risk of damaging their health, which is in line with the regional average of 22 per cent.
The website also shows that last year there were 31,244 alcohol-related admissions to Great Western Hospital, more than 20,000 fewer than the regional average, but still costing tax payers £71 per adult.
Young people often get branded with binge drinking, but of that number, only 252 were aged between 18 and 24, with 1,539 aged between 25 and 54.
The figures also show that in 2009, 46 people died of causes attributed to alcohol, with 17 people dying from chronic liver disease.
The statistics have pleased South Swindon MP Robert Buckland, who says the town is performing well compared with the regional average.
He said: “I thought it was really interesting and when you look at it we are below the south west average for a number of key aspects.
“These stats would suggest that the work we are doing in Swindon is having a positive effect. Drinking responsibly is fine and can be part of the lives of millions, including myself.
“When people abuse alcohol that is when you start to see the financial implications of those actions on society.”
Alcohol Concern campaigns for effective alcohol policy and improved services for people whose lives are affected by alcohol-related problems. The purpose of the map is to reveal the real harm and cost of alcohol at a local level, so that local authorities and local health providers can ensure that alcohol prevention and treatment services are available to those with drinking problems.
To look at all the statistics compiled go to www.alcohol concern.org.uk/campaign/ alcohol-harm-map.
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