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England in the Grip of Dangerous Alcohol Addiction

Public health experts have warned that England is a land in the grip of a dangerous alcohol addiction, following the release of research// that showed that 18.2% of adults binge drink over double the daily recommended limit at least once a week.

Research revealed that in the north-east and north-west parts of the country almost a quarter of all adults consume double the limit in one or more drinking bouts each week. This is equivalent to four pints of beer or eight spirit measures in one session for men and three pints of beer, three glasses of wine or six spirit measures for women. It was found that in the regions across eastern and southern England 16% of adults drink this amount or more, at least once a week.

TheCentre for Public Health at Liverpool, the North West Public Health Observatory and the John Moores University drew up the alcohol map.

Binge drinking was observed to be the highest in Newcastle, Liverpool and Durham with more than 27% of adults admitting a spree at least once a week, in comparison to less than 10% in east Dorset.

In addition the research revealed that the north-east and north-west had the most hospital admissions, with about 1,100 men and 610 women admitted per 100,000 populations in 2004-05. This was less than 700 men and 400 women per 100,000 in the south-east.

Liverpool, Manchester and Middlesbrough had around 70% more admissions than the national average. Wokingham and West Berkshire had nearly 50% less.

Professor Mark Bellis, director of the Centre for Public Health, said: "These profiles illustrate the growing costs of cheap alcohol, a night-time economy almost exclusively packed with bars and clubs, and a failure to deliver a credible drinking message to both youths and adults."

Professor John Ashton, the north-west regional director of public health, laid the blame with the government for failing to act against the drinks industry.

He said, "Alcohol i
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