Alcohol-related deaths in England and Wales could top 200,000 in 20 years if more isn’t done to prevent alcohol abuse some leading doctors have warned.
The doctors, from the Royal College of Physicians, National Institute for Health Research and the British Society of Gastroenterology, have warned that the UK is at a “potential tipping point” and is mounting pressure on the government ahead of its “alcohol strategy” for England and Wales.
The figures incorporate predictions of 70,000 deaths from liver disease and the rest from chronic illnesses such as strokes, heart disease and high blood pressure suggest as well as violence and accidents.
The estimated figure represents the doctors’ “worst-case scenario” of no change to alcohol policy.
“It remains entirely within the power of the UK government to prevent the worst-case scenario of preventable deaths,” the doctors wrote in The Lancet, a leading general medical journal, ahead of the forthcoming publication of the alcohol strategy for England by The Department for Health.
The Public Health Minister, Anne Milton, said: “As the prime minister said earlier this week, we are determined to tackle the scandal of alcohol abuse. People that misuse alcohol endanger their own lives and those of others.
“It costs the NHS £2.7bn per year and in our forthcoming alcohol strategy we will set out our plans on how to deal with the wide range of problems and harms it causes.”