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alcohol health alliance uk
Sue Taylor

Sue Taylor, Head of Alcohol Policy for Fresh and Balance


Action on alcohol needed after 10-year gap

Health campaigners in the North East are calling for evidence-based government action to tackle alcohol harms after it was revealed there has been a TEN-YEAR gap since any national Alcohol Strategy was launched.

Despite liver disease rising, a record year in 2020 for alcohol specific deaths with the worst rates in the North East and millions drinking at risky levels, this week marks ten years since the UK Government last published an Alcohol Strategy to address alcohol harms. The last 2012 government alcohol strategy was shelved in 2013.

Balance says people in regions like the North East have been failed by promises for measures to tackle binge drinking, cut alcohol fuelled violence and reduce the number of people drinking at harmful levels. Around 855,000 North East adults and 60% of male drinkers were drinking above low risk limits during 2020.

In the last decade successive governments have failed to implement an Alcohol Strategy and a new, evidence-based plan to tackle alcohol harm is urgent, especially with the impact of the pandemic:

• In England, only one in five dependent drinkers is in treatment
• Alcohol caused 16,800 cases of cancer in the UK in 2020
• Deaths from alcohol have reached the highest level in 20 years in the UK with the worst rates here in the North East

Read more here.