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More women suffer alcohol poisoning


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The number of women admitted to hospital for alcohol poisoning in England almost doubled between 2003 and 2008, official figures have revealed.


Some 14,304 women were admitted to hospital in 2007-08, when the latest Department of Health figures are available - a huge increase from 7,511 in 2003-04.


The Liberal Democrats, who obtained the figures, said there were "serious concerns" that health messages on alcohol were not getting through.


The data also showed an increase in the number of 14-17 year-old girls admitted for alcohol poisoning. While 681 female youngsters were taken to hospital in 2003-04, 1,132 were admitted in 2007-08.


In 2007-08, 98 girls aged 13 and under were admitted to hospital for alcohol abuse - a decrease from 2003-04, when a total of 139 young girls were treated.


Liberal Democrat culture spokesman Don Foster said: "Such dramatic increases in alcohol poisoning raise serious concerns that the health messages on alcohol simply aren't getting through.


"Local communities, police officers and hospital staff are being forced to bear the binge drinking burden while ministers continue to do little more than pay lip-service to the issue.


"Many people have assumed that alcohol misuse is mainly a problem for young men but these figures make clear we need to do a lot more to educate women about the health consequences of drinking too much.


"Unless we invest in treatment services, put an end to alcohol being sold at pocket-money prices, and start educating our children, then these figures are only set to get worse."


More women than men were admitted to hospital over the five years. A total of 6,710 men were admitted in 2003-04, which rose to 11,353 in 2007-08.


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