Harrogate second worst in country for ‘increased risk drinking’

25 April 2011

Six out of the eight local authority areas of North Yorkshire and York rank in the worst 25 for levels of  ‘increased risk drinking’, with Harrogate second worst in the country.

Increasing risk drinking is defined as consumption of between 22 and 50 units of alcohol per week for males, and between 15 and 35 units of alcohol per week for females.

  • 1 unit Half a pint of normal strength beer A single shot of spirits
  • 1.5 units Small glass of wine Bottle of alcopop-type drink
  • 2 units Half a pint of strong beer Medium glass of wine
  • 3 units Pint of strong beer Large glass of wine
  • 9 units Bottle of wine
  • 30 units Bottle of spirits

Authority                              National Rank (out of 326 Authorities)

Harrogate                                     325

Richmondshire                             316

York                                              312

Selby                                            309

Hambleton                                    306

Craven                                         302

Scarborough                                259

Ryedale                                       249


Rachel Johns, Associate Director of Public Health at NHS North Yorkshire and York, said: “Many people enjoy drinking in moderation, but it is easy for it to escalate.

“The people we are particularly concerned about are those who drink regularly in their own homes. These are not people who are drinking to get drunk and cause anti-social behaviour. It is the people who may drink a bottle of wine most nights at home, and maybe a bit more on a weekend, that are increasing the risk to their long term health.

“Alcohol has been recognised as a factor in many medical conditions including liver disease, heart disease and cancers – contributing to reduced life expectancy. In a recent study, alcohol was identified as the most harmful drug, with heroin and crack cocaine in second and third places.

“We are asking those who drink regularly at home to consider what constitutes safe levels of consumption, and to pay attention to the units of alcohol in their drinks. There is a lot of information available about units of alcohol, and you can always see how many units are in a drink on the label.

“If people moderate their levels of drinking now, they can reduce their risk of developing serious illnesses later in life.”

The direct cost to the NHS of treating alcohol related conditions is estimated at £2.7 billion a year, whilst the overall cost to society of alcohol use amounts to around £20 billion each year.


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