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Cornwall's Alcohol Warning

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6:09am 25th January 2013

Pirate FM has learnt around a quarter of people in Cornwall are regularly drinking too much.

Latest NHS figures show the number of men and women being admitted to hospital for long-term problems like liver disease is rising.

Almost 70 thousand are classed as binge-drinkers.

There have been almost 160 deaths in two years.

Ian McDonald from St Austell is training to be a counsellor after battling an addiction for years: "I had a very, very successful career, lovely marriage with a beautiful wife and two gorgeous children and they all went. Everything just went out of the window because of alcohol. Ultimately I ended up street homeless because of it.

"One of the problems is that people feel that the minute they say I'm drinking too much, they'll be labelled an alcoholic. But that can lead to it becoming a habit so I think as soon as somebody thinks I am perhaps drinking too much, seek help and actively cut down."

Dr Hyder Hussaini is a consultant at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.

He is backing calls for a minimum price for alcohol: "Look at how much alcohol you're drinking because I think it's a lack of awareness rather than always having an alcohol misuse problem. People with alcohol misuse problems are the minority. People who are in danger through alcohol are the majority."

Dr Hussaini warns young drinkers are not the most at-risk: "More often than not they are the social drinkers, the people who perhaps drink on a daily basis, perhaps half a bottle of wine a day. They think that's OK to do but long term that increases their risk of alcohol-related liver disease."

The NHS recommends:

  • Men should not regularly drink more than 3 - 4 units of alcohol a day.
  • Women should not regularly drink more than 2 - 3 units of alcohol a day.
  • If you've had a heavy drinking session, avoid alcohol for 48 hours.

'Regularly' means drinking these amounts every day or most days of the week.

6:09am 25th January 2013

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