Alcohol abuse 'costing NI £700m each year'
An independent report has said excessive drinking costs the public purse in Northern Ireland almost £700m a year.
The figures were worked out by a team of consultants commissioned by the Department of Health.
Among the costs they estimate are £224m a year for the police and fire services and £122m for the NHS.
According to the report the cost to the economy - through the likes of days lost at work - is £202m per year.
The extra work for the criminal justice system amounts to £84m and social services £49m, the report says.