A growing number of people are attending accident and emergency units, GPs and pharmacies in order to treat health conditions resulting from their alcohol use, a professor has warned.
And without a "substantial change in drinking behaviours", the number of hospital admissions for alcohol-related harm in England could break the one million barrier in two years' time, says North West Public Health Observatory director, Professor Mark Bellis.
There were more than 863,257 alcohol-related admissions to hospital in England in 2007/8, involving more than half a million individuals, and the figure is rising year-on-year, figures from the NWPH showed.
The statistics showed an additional 176 alcohol-related admissions every day in 2007/8 compared with the previous year, an increase of 8%, and the health of those living in the poorest areas is suffering most.
Dr Ruth Hussey, regional director of public health in the North West, added: "While there are no communities that escape from harms related to alcohol, the health of those living in the poorest areas is suffering most."