Page last updated at 16:06 GMT, Friday, 9 April 2010 17:06 UK

Alcohol abuse in Brighton and Hove 'catastrophic'

Councillor Garry Peltzer Dunn said drinking levels were frightening

A sharp increase in alcohol abuse in Brighton and Hove is having a serious affect on lives, according to the city's director of public health.

In a report to the city council, Dr Tom Scanlon said alcohol-related hospital admissions had doubled in recent years.

The document also said the number of men dying from liver disease in the city was twice the national average.

Garry Peltzer Dunn, from the council's health overview and scrutiny committee, said the figures were "catastrophic".

'Chronic effects'

The report is due to be submitted to the committee, which is chaired by Councillor Peltzer Dunn.

Recorded alcohol-related hospital admissions in Brighton and Hove rose from 855 per 100,000 in 2003/04, to 1,709 per 100,000 in 2007/08. Men accounted for two-thirds of the admissions, the report said.

The report said admissions for acute alcohol problems were most frequent in under 24s, while alcohol-related mental disorder admissions are more common in the 25-44 age group, and admissions for chronic alcohol-related problems are most prevalent in the over 45s.

Dr Scanlon said: "In other words, this is not just a problem of young people going through a phase that they then grow out of.

"Younger people are presenting with the acute effects of alcohol intoxication, but as they grow older they present with the chronic effects of alcohol."

The report also warned that male mortality from chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis, in Brighton and Hove is 21 deaths per 100,000, double the England average.

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