People that are admitted to hospital, or that admit themselves to A&E departments in the Lothian area are to be quizzed on their drinking habits in a new bid to tackle drink related long term illnesses. The scheme was piloted in GP’s surgeries to combat the rising number of hospital beds being filled by alcohol related accident patients and those with chronic alcoholic disorders. By addressing the situation early, and expanding the scheme wider, the health board hopes to improve the overall addiction problem in the area. The predicted amount of people referred to the scheme before the new year is 100,000. Of those, only about 20,000 will actually join on, either through dropping out themselves or not being suitable for the project its-self. Those that do dedicate themselves however, and ‘stay the course’ have a noticeably high success rate.