THOUSANDS of people across Sussex are being admitted to hospital every year because of drink-related problems.

New figures reveal the county’s hospitals dealt with 26,100 admissions over a 12-month period – more than 70 a day.

Conditions include liver disease and alcohol poisoning and associated problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes.

The figures also include people brought after being hurt in a fight or argument, injured in a fire after falling asleep while drunk and those who have attempted suicide.

Cases do not just involve people who are known alcoholics but also those who have built up a dangerous habit of having a drink every night at home.

Having easily-available, cheap alcohol, 24 hours a day also contributes.

Health bosses say the number of hospital admissions is starting to fall but there was still a long way to go.

Brighton and Hove had 4,640 admissions, giving it a rate of 1,801 per 100,000 of the population.

This is well above the south east average rate of 1,500.

East Sussex and West Sussex were also above average, with rates of 1,570 and 1,590 respectively.

The cost of dealing with the consequences of alcohol costs about £107m a year in Brighton and Hove alone.

This includes the costs of policing alcohol-related crime, the economic costs and the impact on the NHS.

Health and council bosses in the city are working to find ways to balance the impact of alcohol on people’s health with the needs of the tourism and entertainment industry, which generates almost £330m a year to the local economy.