Concern over alcohol-related hospital admissions

Section of a liver with cirrhosis damage due to alcohol consumption
Image caption Nearly 80,000 people in Devon and Cornwall were admitted to hospital due to alcohol in 2009/10

Devon and Cornwall have seen a dramatic increase in the number of people admitted to hospital because of alcohol-related illnesses.

From 2009 to 2010, 50,955 people in Devon were admitted to hospital wholly or partly due to alcohol.

About 27,000 people in Cornwall and Scilly were admitted to hospital for the same reason.

Cornwall's figures are up by 83% over seven years; Plymouth has a 71% rise; and the rest of Devon is up 66%.

The figures come from the South West Public Health Observatory.

The observatory said the reasons for admission include mental and behavioural disorders, liver disease and alcohol poisoning.

Director of the organisation, Dr Julia Verne, said: "We have high rates of presentations at A&E departments.

"We also have high rates of binge alcohol drinking and accidents that don't even reach hospital."

The observatory said one in 10 deaths of people aged 40-49 was from liver disease, mostly alcohol-related.

Paul Tregunna, who started drinking in his late teens and went on to become an alcoholic, suffered from liver disease and was able to have a transplant at Derriford Hospital four years ago.

Mr Tregunna, 57, said: "It got me into a lot of debt, almost broke my marriage up. Each drink I was having, day by day, was killing me.

"I was in bed for 14 months. It's not a very nice thing. I say don't even try it, don't even go there."

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