I write with reference to the recent conference in the North East that claimed the region was suffering an “epidemic” of alcohol abuse.
According to official Government data the truth is very different. The Office of National Statistics states 20% of the population 16 and over in the North East are teetotal, only 57% drank in the last week. Sixty-five per cent of people in the North East did not exceed the CMOs guidelines on their heaviest drinking day.
In addition in the last six years hospital admissions for alcohol related conditions for the under 40s have fallen as have persons under 18 admitted to hospitals in the North East with alcohol specific conditions.
Since 2010, the region has seen an 8% fall in alcohol related road traffic accidents and alcohol specific mortality has also fallen by 6%.
While more can always be done to encourage sensible drinking and provide help to those with an abusive relationship with alcohol, the situation is far removed from the “epidemic” scare stories spread by anti-alcohol campaigners.