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Alcohol Action Ireland. (2016) Submission on the new National Drugs Strategy. Dublin: Alcohol Action Ireland.

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The harmful use of alcohol is a causal factor in more than 200 disease and injury conditions. Worldwide, 3.3 million deaths every year result from harmful use of alcohol, which represents 5.9% of all deaths. (3)

Harmful alcohol use is the fifth leading cause of death and disability worldwide, up from 8th in 1990, and every 10 seconds somebody dies from a problem related to alcohol and many more develop an alcohol-related disease. (4)

Alcohol is associated with a risk of developing health problems such as mental and behavioural disorders, including alcohol dependence, major non-communicable diseases such as liver cirrhosis, cancers and cardiovascular diseases, as well as injuries and deaths resulting from violence and road traffic collisions. (3)

In Ireland, our harmful drinking has a huge impact on our nation’s physical and mental health, causing the loss of 88 lives due to alcohol every month. (5)

The Health Research Board (HRB) published a comprehensive report in June 2016, (6) which set some of the main impacts of alcohol consumption on our health in Ireland:

  • Three people died each day in 2013 as a result of drinking alcohol.
  • The number of people discharged from hospital whose condition was totally attributable to alcohol rose by 82% between 1995 and 2013, from 9,420 to 17,120. Males accounted for 72% of these discharges and females 28%.
  • There has also been a steady increase in the mean length of stay (LOS) for hospital discharges, from 6.0 days in 1995 to 10.1 days in 2013, which suggests that patients with alcohol-related diagnoses are becoming more complex in terms of their illness.
  • The rate of alcoholic liver disease discharges grew threefold between 1995 and 2013. The highest rate of increase was observed among 15–34 year-olds, albeit from a low rate.
  • The number of people discharged whose condition was partially attributed to alcohol increased from 52,491 in 2007 to 57,110 in 2011. This is approximately three times the number of discharges totally attributable to alcohol.
  • In 2014, one- in-three self-harm presentations were alcohol-related.
Item Type
Report
Publication Type
Irish-related
Drug Type
Alcohol
Intervention Type
Policy
Date
October 2016
Pages
14 p.
Publisher
Alcohol Action Ireland
Corporate Creators
Alcohol Action Ireland
Place of Publication
Dublin
EndNote
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)
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