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Booze survey reveals Norwich's 7,000 dependent drinkers

PUBLISHED: 17:00 02 December 2008 | UPDATED: 12:18 07 May 2010

Excessive alcohol consumption in the city is knocking almost a year off the life of Norwich drinkers.

Excessive alcohol consumption in the city is knocking almost a year off the life of Norwich drinkers.

The true extent of excessive alcohol consumption in the city can be revealed today after new research showed, on average, it is knocking almost a year off the life of Norwich drinkers.

Sarah Hall

The true extent of excessive alcohol consumption in the city can be revealed today after new research showed, on average, it is knocking almost a year off the life of Norwich drinkers.

Health and council bosses in the city have become so concerned with the extent of binge drinking and crimes linked to too much drink they have formed a Norwich Alcohol Board to deal with the issues.

At a meeting of the Norwich City Licensing Committee tomorrow members will be briefed on research that was undertaken by the Eastern Region Public Health Observatory which revealed problems in Norwich linked to alcohol included:

The city has 7,200 dependent drinkers (men who drink 50 units or more a week and women who drink 35 units or more)

The average months of life lost due to alcohol consumption is 11 months

41pc of violent crime recorded has alcohol as a factor

Alcohol attributable death rates are above the national average

The Norwich Alcohol Board comprises Norwich City Council, Norfolk Constabulary, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, NHS Norfolk and the Norfolk Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT).

One of the main ways alcohol abuse is being tackled is with an “anonymous information exchange” between the NNUH Accident and Emergency Department and police about alcohol-fuelled crime.

Andrew Stronach, spokesman from the NNUH, said there was a database of people who sustain injuries which are down to alcohol and the system also picks up domestic violence cases where alcohol has played a part - all on an anonymous basis.

He said: “Since the beginning of November our A&E team has submitted a weekly report to Norfolk Police. The report gives anonymised data regarding anyone who has attended our accident and emergency as a result of injuries sustained in an assault.

“Many assaults are down to alcohol and what the database does is link the assault with any licensed premises connected to the incident.

“An analysis of that information will allow agencies to see if there are particular hotspots like pubs or clubs where a lot of assaults arise.”

As the Evening News reported earlier this year the number of youngsters binge drinking their way into accident and emergency remain as high as ever.

The Norwich Alcohol Board has developed an action plan which looks at how safer drinking can be promoted in the city.

Daniel Harry from DAAT, said: “The board is at a very early stage and we are beginning to roll out new initiatives. We wanted to look at drinking on a more scaled down level than just include it in the fight against crime.

“Drinking can lead to a number of social issues and we want to look at preventative methods to stop it escalating and getting out of control.”

Do you have a health story? Call Evening News health reporter Sarah Hall on 01603 772426 or email sarah.hall2@archant.co.uk

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