Dozens die from drinking in Brighton and Hove during coronavirus pandemic

Posted On 12 Dec 2021 at 2:44 pm

Dozens of people have died from drinking in Brighton and Hove since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

And the latest figures are significantly higher than for the year before the pandemic, according to Public Health England.

PHE data suggested that 47 people from Brighton and Hove were among the 6,985 who died from alcohol-specific causes across the country last year.

The rate of alcohol-specific deaths in Brighton and Hove was higher than anywhere else in the south east and significantly higher than the total of 33 people in 2019.

And it had the third-highest rate of deaths from liver disease in the south east – a cause of death commonly linked to drinking.

The 42 per cent rise in alcohol-specific deaths in Brighton and Hove in 2020 was also significantly higher than the average 20 per cent increase across the country.

The figures suggest 13 in every 100,000 people in England died solely because of alcohol abuse last year – the rate in Brighton and Hove was higher, at 19.

During that time, a total of 20,500 deaths registered nationally were either wholly or partially related to alcohol consumption – and 106 people lost their lives for this reason in Brighton and Hove.

The number of hospital admissions in Brighton and Hove in the year from April 2019 to March 2020 directly caused by drinking were 416.

The number of hospital admissions in the same period locally where drink was partly to blame was 1,267.

PHE said: “Alcohol misuse is the biggest risk factor for death, ill-health and disability among 15 to 49-year-olds in the UK and the fifth biggest risk factor across all ages.

“Alcohol is a causal factor in more than 60 medical conditions, including mouth, throat, stomach, liver and breast cancers, high blood pressure, cirrhosis of the liver, and depression.”

Richard Piper, chief executive of the charity Alcohol Change UK, said that as many as one in four people drank more in 2020, with some picking up habits that could prove hard to break.

Dr Piper called for high-quality early support for those who were struggling, adding: “Evidence shows that, for many people, the pandemic and the restrictions placed on our daily lives led to an increase in drinking.

“Any one of us can find ourselves drinking harmfully and everyone deserves to live a full life free from the harm caused by alcohol.”

He added: “The harm caused by alcohol goes beyond this unacceptable avoidable loss of life.

“Millions more suffer from worsened mental and physical health every day as a result of harmful drinking.”

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