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Extent of East Sussex drink problem revealed
One in four adults in East Sussex are putting their health at serious risk by drinking too much.
Dealing with the consequences of alcohol costs the NHS in the county more than £32 million a year and leads to thousands of hospital admissions.
A five-year plan has been drawn up in a bid to tackle the issue and encourage those who drink to do so responsibly.
Health and council bosses have a difficult balancing act as alcohol also contributes significantly to the county’s social and economic landscape.
More than 4,000 people are employed in pubs, bars and breweries and many venues are also an integral part of the tourism industry.
However, alcohol also contributes to significant health and social problems including long-term liver disease, domestic abuse and public disorder.
The East Sussex Drug and Alcohol Action Team and the East Sussex Safer Communities Partnership have developed the plan.
Work includes increasing knowledge and awareness of the dangers of alcohol and providing early help and support for people affected by harmful drinking.
There are also plans to work with retailers and licensees to promote responsible drinking.
East Sussex County Council lead member for community services, Chris Dowling, said: “We estimate that 23% of adult drinkers in East Sussex are drinking at a level that is damaging their health.
“This isn’t just about those drinking to excess in our town centres, but also those who regularly drink more than the recommended limits at home.
“Drinking more than the recommended levels can increase the risk of a wide range of health problems such as heart disease, stroke, throat and stomach cancers, liver disease, obesity and dementia.
“Working with our partners, we want to encourage a culture that people who drink to do so without harming their health and wellbeing.”
The recommended limits for men is three to four units a day and for women, two to three units.
A large glass of wine or a pint of strong lager or beer, are each about three units.
To look at the plans, visit www.safeineastsussex.org.uk.
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