men drinking beer

Drugs for alcohol dependency cost NHS £4.5 million a year

NHS Digital has released statistics showing that 167,000 prescriptions were made in 2020/21 to treat alcohol misuse.

Whilst the figures for 2020/21 (£4.63m) are 15 percent lower than in 2014/15, total net ingredient cost has increased by 33 percent across the same time period.

The Statistics on Alcohol, England 2021 report also showed that there were 280,000 hospital admission in 2019/20 for alcohol abuse, an eight percent increase than in 2016/17.

Over half (65%) of those admitted to hospital with alcohol related issues were male.

Anglian Ruskin University have released their findings to their study on cardiovascular risk when consuming small quantities of alcohol which showed that 14 units a week still may be harmful to a person health.

The study included 333,359 people, all of whom drank alcohol. The sample were followed for seven years and monitored if any oof the participants were hospitalised due to cardiovascular issues.

The study found that for every additional 1.5 pints of beer consumed, the risk of suffering from a cardiovascular event increased by 23 percent.

Dr Rudolph Schutte, Lead author and Associate Professor at Anglia Ruskin University said: “The so-called J-shaped curve of the cardiovascular disease-alcohol consumption relationship suggesting health benefit from low to moderate alcohol consumption is the biggest myth since we were told smoking was good for us.

“Among drinkers of beer, cider, and spirits in particular, even those consuming under 14 units a week had an increased risk of ending up in hospital through a cardiovascular event involving the heart or the blood vessels. While we hear much about wine drinkers having lower risk of coronary artery disease, our data shows their risk of other cardiovascular events is not reduced.

“Biases embedded in epidemiological evidence mask or underestimate the hazards associated with alcohol consumption. When these biases are accounted for, the adverse effects of even low-level alcohol consumption are revealed.

“Avoiding these biases in future research would mitigate current confusion and hopefully lead to a strengthening of the guidelines, seeing the current alcohol guidance reduced.”

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