Drink-induced liver disease in decline

THE number of heavy drinkers developing liver disease fell in 1066 Country last year but health bosses are warning there is no room for complacency.

Figures obtained by the Observer show 39 patients in Hastings and Rother were diagnosed with alcohol induced liver problems in 2009/2010. This was down from 44 the year before.

But despite the encouraging statistics, Diana Grice, director of public health for NHS Hastings and Rother, said there was still work to be done to keep town’s drink problem under control.

She said: “Tackling excessive alcohol consumption remains a priority for the NHS in Hastings and Rother.

“Recently we have been working hard to address the problems caused by alcohol misuse by co-ordinating our efforts alongside other local agencies to inform people about the risks and to promote safer levels of drinking.

“Getting this message across is really important as it is not just dependent drinkers who can suffer from serious health problems such as liver disease.

“Drinking just a bit more than you should over an extended period of time can seriously damage your liver.”

These figures from the NHS represent a rare ray of hope in the story of the town’s continuing battle with the bottle.

An alcohol profile compiled by the North West Public Health Observatory last year showed Hastings reeling under a drink problem, with far more alcohol-related hospital admissions than average across the board and worrying levels of alcohol related crime, particularly sex attacks.

Anyone worried about their own or a loved one’s drinking can call Action for Change for advice and support on 0300 111 2470.