Drink-related hospitalisations rise
Three out of five local authorities have seen an increase in adults being admitted to hospital because of alcohol, with the biggest rise among women, according to newly released figures.
Public Health England (PHE) said 59% of local authorities saw an increase, with a 2.1% rise for women while for men this was 0.7%.
There also continues to be huge variations between the most deprived and the least deprived areas - hospital admissions for alcohol-related conditions were 55% higher in the most deprived.
While there were 559 alcohol-specific hospital admissions per 100,000 people in North West England and 495 in North East England, at the other end of the spectrum there were just 267 in the East of England.
Overall, admissions rose by 1.3% to 333,000, up from 326,000 the previous year.
The figures also show a further drop in the rate of hospital admissions due to alcohol among under 18s, which PHE said was evidence of a continuing decline in young people's harmful drinking.
Nationally, alcohol-specific hospital admissions for under 18s over the last three years are down to 13,725 - a fall of 41% against the earliest comparable figures, 22,890 between 2006 to 2007 and 2008 to 2009.
Professor Kevin Fenton, director of health and well-being at PHE, said: " The decline in hospital admissions from alcohol for under 18s is promising, but current levels of harm caused by alcohol remain unacceptably high, especially within the most deprived communities, who suffer the most from poor health in general.
"Much of this harm is preventable and we need further action at a national and local level to implement the most effective evidence based policies. Public Health England will continue to provide leadership and support to local areas to reduce the devastating harm that alcohol can cause to individuals, families and communities."
Deaths related to alcohol remain at similar high levels to those reported over the past decade with more than 20,000 deaths in 2013.
Dr Niall Campbell, consultant psychiatrist at the Priory Hospital in Roehampton, south west London, which specialises in alcohol addiction, said he had seen an increasing amount of women needing help with alcohol addiction, including middle-aged women and mothers in their 30s.
"These figures are deeply worrying," he said.
"Women are drinking much more than they used to, particularly wine in the evening, and that quantity of drinking is causing significant problems in terms of liver disease and other serious conditions.
"The consequences for their physical health are huge. Women are literally dying for a drink, and it is a national pattern now."
He said women drinking too much affected their mental health in terms of depression and anxiety, and their social health in their ability to care for children and being able to work, along with their physical health. Excessive alcohol consumption is also leading to more marital breakdown, he added.
Dr Campbell described the UK as having a "chronic drink problem".
"It's one of the biggest health problems facing our country and it is also fuelling the biggest, which is obesity," he added.
The PHE figures show the areas with the most alcohol-specific hospital admissions were Salford (1,073.9 per 100,000 people), Blackpool (797.7) and Manchester (763.5).
The lowest were Wokingham, Berkshire (131.0), Thurrock, Essex (182.0), and Buckinghamshire (190.5).
The places with the most alcohol-specific deaths were Liverpool (25.3), Manchester (24.7) and Portsmouth (23), while the lowest were Rutland (3.8), Harrow (4.6) and Wokingham (5.5).