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Shock over real cost of drinking

ALCOHOL abuse is a massive issue in Barrow and Furness as it is in many parts of the UK.

Whether ending in violence in the street or domestic abuse in the home, it destroys lives.

Today there’s another aspect to this blight on our society which is revealed – what it is costing every individual in the community.

And the figures make shocking reading.

In Barrow alcohol abuse is costing each individual £515.

That’s more than Liverpool, with all the usual issues associated with a big city.

The report looks at how much dealing with alcohol-related issues costs the health services, police and social services.

It also looked into the amount of money lost to the economy through loss of productivity due to drinking.

In Barrow borough, the cost was more than £36m in 2010/11, while in South Lakeland it was £37m (£363 per person) and £25m (£371 per person) in Copeland.

Superintendent Ali Dufty is absolutely right.

We have a culture in the UK where the whole purpose of drinking is to get drunk. That must change.

We need to start to enjoy and appreciate drink, like in other countries. Quality, not quantity, should be the key to that enjoyment.

That way drink can remain at the heart of our celebrations and a vital part of our national heritage, without blighting our society and ruining our lives.

Brave decisions are needed to help us get there.

By North West Evening Mail
Published: May 24, 2012

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