New strategy by North Yorkshire tackles alcohol abuse

1 May 2014

A county-wide strategy for tackling alcohol abuse is to be implemented by public health experts in North Yorkshire.

The strategy, drawn up by North Yorkshire County Council’s Health and Adult Services, is aimed at working with partner organisations

“to reduce the harm caused by alcohol to individuals, families, communities and businesses in North Yorkshire while ensuring that people are able to enjoy alcohol responsibly.”

Among other things, the strategy will:

  • support schools to make pupils aware of the risks of alcohol abuse
  • increase capacity to prevent under-age sales
  • support the development of specialist services in areas where professionals come regularly into contact with people suffering the consequences of excessive alcohol consumption
  • increase the uptake and ensure the effectiveness of the GP-led NHS Health Checks to identify people in the 40-74 age range at risk of harm from alcohol
  • explore the feasibility of a minimum price of alcohol
  • explore the feasibility of increasing the availability and reducing the price of non-alcoholic drinks in licensed premises

County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Public Health said: In North Yorkshire, although around one in seven adults abstains from alcohol, around a quarter of all people who drink are estimated to be drinking at harmful or hazardous levels. Alcohol-related hospital admissions are increasing year on year, and nearly 200 people die in North Yorkshire every year as a result of alcohol. It is associated with crime, including domestic violence and sexual crime, and features in antisocial behaviour in particular with over a quarter of incidents associated with alcohol in some areas.

For too many people, harmful or hazardous drinking has become normal. We need to shift that culture so that low risk drinking becomes the norm. This is so right across a person’s life, from pregnancy and foetal development, through teenage years, young adulthood and leaving home, to the stresses of work and middle age and then retirement and risk of isolation in old age.

A public consultation on the strategy has now begun, and people have until 28 May to give their views.

Further details at

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