Ireland To Tackle Alcohol Abuse Reveals Health Conference

Health officials at an all-Ireland conference to tackle alcohol abuse have revealed the extent of the problem.

More than 1,300 lives are claimed by booze each year across Northern Ireland and the Republic as a direct result of alcohol consumption.

Health officials from both countries have come together to discuss and find ways to tackle the problem which uses up, on average, 2000 acute beds EVERY night in the Republic and costs the healthcare system in the south 1.2 billion euro (around £1 billion) every year.

At the meeting in Armagh, Minister of Health for the Republic of Ireland, Dr Reilly, said: “This conference has set the scene for a longer term, all-island collaborative approach for tackling issues relating to alcohol abuse.

“The areas we would like progress on a North-South basis are measures to reduce the availability of cheap alcohol and treatment and rehabilitation of those affected by alcohol misuse.

“Alcohol use and misuse is an area where both jurisdictions can achieve a lot together – especially in dealing with the challenges that alcohol presents for young adults.”

Some Irish alcohol facts:

Republic of Ireland

  • 88 people die each month because of alcohol.
  • One in four deaths among young men is drink-related.
  • Alcohol is a contributory factor in half of all suicides and in deliberate self-harm.
  • Alcohol was involved in around one third of all domestic abuse cases in 2005.
  • Crime caused by alcohol cost an estimated €1.19bn in 2007. The cost of lost economic output due to alcohol was estimated to be €527m, while alcohol-related road accidents cost an estimated €530m.

Northern Ireland

  • 284 people died directly as a result of alcohol misuse.
  • Problem drinking costs up to £900m (€1.07bn) every year.
  • More than 3,000 individuals were in treatment for alcohol misuse on March 1, 2010.
  • In 2010/11, over 12,000 admissions to acute hospitals with an alcohol-related illness.
  • There were 355 admissions to hospital for liver cirrhosis – up from 281 in 2005/06.

*Source: Irish Examiner and Press Association

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