STAFFORDSHIRE County Council’s director of public health has revealed how alcohol misuse is being addressed throughout the county.
The impact of harmful drinking levels is estimated to cost the public purse in Staffordshire more than £400 million per year when wider issues are also taken into account, such as health, antisocial behaviour, work absenteeism and drink driving.
They have now been addressed by the county council’s director of public health Professor Aliko Ahmed in a report, which also highlights the need for enforcement around areas such as licensing, will be presented to the county council’s cabinet on May 21.
As part of the ongoing drive to tackle alcohol misuse, health chiefs have already introduced an intoxication observation unit, which allows people to be transferred from A&E by ambulance to a specialist support unit, where they receive immediate help. Its introduction follows on from the launch Staffordshire County Council’s ‘Alcohol Fails’ campaign last year in which a series of animations designed by young people showed how lives can be damaged by alcohol.
Professor Aliko said: “Dealing with alcohol misuse is a huge challenge and here in Staffordshire we are committed to working with partners to focus on education, early intervention, tailored treatment and support in the community.
“Our new approach will see more focus on encouraging people to make the right choices for themselves and supporting them with early, targeted help to allow them to do this.”
The report has also received the backing of Robbie Marshall, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, who agrees that alcohol misuse can have a detrimental effect on employment, family life and community safety as well as the health of an individual. He also added that the problem only affects a minority.
He said: ““What is clear from this report is that tackling the impact of alcohol is not one person’s problem or one person’s responsibility, it is about everyone working together to support people with alcohol-related problems make the right choices and decisions for their families and for themselves.”