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 Drunkards , meet A & E

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Firebird

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Join date : 2009-05-07
Age : 36
Location : Scotland

PostSubject: Drunkards , meet A & E   Thu 30 Jul 2009, 12:28 pm

Drunks land NHS with £36.6m bill for treatment


Written by Cameron Brooks, published on the 27th of November 2008

Source (The Press & Journal) :
http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/959521

Liberal Democrats expose ‘true cost of Scotland’s drinking culture’
Health boards across the north and north-east of Scotland spent £8.5million treating 91,000 people for alcohol-related injuries over a year, it emerged last night.

Figures released by the Liberal Democrats, based on Scottish Government statistics, showed NHS Grampian spent £3.5million treating 37,935 people who injured themselves after drinking.

NHS Highland spent £1.9million treating 20,533 people and NHS Tayside £2.4million treating 26,461 people.

Some 2,652 people were treated in the Western Isles, costing the health board £246,682. Another 2,733 people were treated in Shetland, at a cost of £254,169, and Orkney spent £67,727 on treating 728 people.

The figures are based on accident and emergency costs, which equate to an average of £93 per patient.

The NHS spent a total of £36.6million dealing with alcohol-related injuries across the country.

West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MSP Mike Rumbles said the figures exposed the true cost to the NHS of Scotland’s drinking culture.

“This funding could have been used to keep our hospitals clean, or to fund extra staff or to treat more patients quickly,” he said.

“Instead, money that could be spent treating and protecting patients is being diverted to cope with the immediate effect of Scotland’s binge-drinking culture.”

Mr Rumbles said health boards should record the reason for admissions to accident and emergency units in the future. “This would give us a clear picture of the cost to the NHS of alcohol misuse,” he added.

The Scottish Government is proposing to introduce a range of measures to tackle the country’s unhealthy relationship with alcohol.

These including banning under-21s from buying alcohol in off-licences, introducing minimum pricing, outlawing “irresponsible” promotions and introducing a social-responsibility fee for licence-holders.

Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill said alcohol misuse was costing Scotland more than £2.25billion a year.

A spokesman for NHS Grampian said tackling alcohol was a priority.

He added: “Alcohol misuse places an unnecessary and unwelcome burden on A&E and other emergency services out of hours and at weekends.”
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Firebird

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PostSubject: bah !   Thu 30 Jul 2009, 12:40 pm

I see no sensible reason why Scottish society maintains a situation wherein drunks who endanger themselves through taking their drug of choice too much, can trundle into A&E to get fixed up at national expense.

It seems to me, that the whole idea of taxation and money redistribution should surely be to enable poor people to experience a higher quality of life, basic care, etc.... which otherwise they wouldn't be able to afford due to their unfortunate socioeconomic status.

ie, what is supported through this method, ought to be things which the general community thinks are for the benefit fo the individuals involved, as well as the overall community.

I don't see anyone benefitting from the present pro-alcoholic strategy really, other than mabe the drunks in the short term.... because they can pass themselves off as normal by drinking until they pass out (So cool ! As countless trendy teenage girls can tell you ! Rolling Eyes ) , without having to worry about the bill from A&E at the end of the night.

To a great extent, I agree with this commentor from the bottom of that article -

Quote :
this problem is simple to solve - if someone needs the services as a result of drink related incidents charge them for the costs associated with the incident - this will soon stop many people from making an utter fool of themselves with drink
Thomas Owenson
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Firebird

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PostSubject: Apart from that, we also have....   Thu 30 Jul 2009, 12:43 pm

Hundreds of Scots children treated for alcohol addiction


Written by David Gray, published on the 6th of November 2005

Source (The Scotsman) :
http://news.scotsman.com/alcoholandbingedrinking/Hundreds-of-Scots-children-treated.2675814.jp

AT LEAST 500 Scottish children were treated for alcohol addiction last year, according to shocking new figures that reveal the true extent of the country's underage drinking culture.
An investigation by Scotland on Sunday has blown apart recent claims by ministers that just 36 under-18s had been diagnosed with alcohol dependence in the past five years.

The statistics, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, show that health workers are counselling and treating hundreds of children who are physically dependent on alcohol, some as young as 12.

Experts say some of the underage victims are middle-class children who have turned to drink because of emotional neglect by workaholic parents.

Counsellors and youth workers also say increasing numbers of youngsters from affluent families are being referred to NHS addiction services with alcohol problems.

The revelations are particularly disturbing as it usually takes years of heavy drinking to become alcoholic.

Figures from all 15 Scottish health boards show 509 under-18s were given treatment, counselling or support for alcohol dependence between April 2004 and March 2005.

In Glasgow, more than 159 young people received treatment for alcohol problems from NHS Greater Glasgow's primary care services, while addiction services in Forth Valley tended to 119 children.

Health workers in Edinburgh treated at least 34 under-18s while NHS Dumfries and Galloway and NHS Highlands helped 19 children each. NHS Orkney treated 12 alcohol-affected youngsters.

And a youth alcohol support project in Dumbarton has had more than 180 referrals since it started two years ago. In Tayside, alcohol experts saw 33 under-18 patients.

Experts believe the real number of teenage alcoholics is even higher when those receiving help from voluntary organisations outside of the health service are taken into account.

"We are seeing very young people who are physically dependent upon alcohol," said Kathryn Baker, young persons' service manager at Tayside Council on Alcohol.
"They even suffer withdrawal when they try to stop. We had one young person, 12 years old, who was quite clearly physically dependent upon alcohol."

Support workers also note many of the children are from middle-class families rather than deprived areas of the country. Baker added: "We have quite a diverse group of clients. Coming from an affluent background is not protective against having a drink problem as they tend to have higher levels of disposable income.
"While some of the youngsters are struggling with the stresses of growing up, domestic violence or abuse, we find children whose parents are well off are missing emotional contact with their parents."

In one case, a schoolboy aged 13 from a private school in Helensburgh was referred to addiction services for treatment after being found drunk in the playground. Cathy Bennett, director of the Dumbarton Area Alcohol Council, said: "The youngsters we see are here for a whole range of reasons, but the harm they are doing to themselves and their families is devastating."

The figures from Scotland's health boards appear to undermine statistics released by the Scottish Executive last year in response to a parliamentary question by the North East Scotland Nationalist MSP Richard Lochhead about the number of cases of alcohol addiction among under-18s.

The then deputy health minister, Hugh Henry, said just six youngsters were diagnosed with alcohol dependence in 2003-04, and 36 in the past five years.

The discrepancy has sparked fears that ministers are failing to grasp the real extent of the country's underage drinking problem. A spokeswoman for the Executive said its figures were provided by the Information Statistics Department and based purely on hospital discharges.

A recent report on alcohol consumption in Scotland revealed more than 36,000 people a year are admitted to hospital due to drink - on average 1,122 of them under the age of 18.

Scotland's underage drinking was put under the spotlight this year when the Executive pledged to clamp down on anti-social behaviour by teenagers, most of which is caused by drunk youngsters.

During a launch in Auchinleck, Ayrshire, the justice minister, Cathy Jamieson, was jeered by teenagers chanting "Save our Buckie" after she applauded moves by a local shop to halt sales of Buckfast.

And last week the ChildLine charity revealed it had received a call from a schoolgirl of 13 addicted to alcopops.

Angus Bancroft, a sociologist at Glasgow University, said he was shocked so many youngsters had been treated for alcohol addiction in Scotland.
He said: "This is a very alarming figure. At the moment in Britain, most of the research and the energy of health and social services is going into drug use, so this has uncovered something important.
"There is a difficulty in acknowledging childhood alcohol problems because of that - alcoholism is seen as a problem of adults, the stereotype alcoholic being a relatively successful middle-class man."

Jack Law, chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland, added: "Unfortunately, underage drinking is likely to continue to be a problem until attitudes towards alcohol in the adult population change."
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