Stat of the day: £1bn

The amount alcohol abuse costs the NHS each year, according to campaigners.

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
With Britain regularly among the nations with the highest levels of binge-drinking in Europe, some might be less than surprised that the cost to the National Health Service has doubled over the last 10 years.

Alcohol abuse is already thought to cost the NHS £2.7bn a year - but Alcohol Concern says this could rise to £3.7bn as alcohol becomes more affordable. But the total cost to the public purse could be as high as £55bn, if other effects such as road accidents and crime are included.

Cheap booze deals offered in supermarkets takes its fair share of the blame, and despite the Coalition calling time on sales of cheap alcohol, many say the clampdown hasn’t gone far enough. After months of deliberation, the Government announced plans for a minimum price for alcohol - but campaigners argued it was so low that it would barely make any difference to sales.

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