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Over 40s surge in substance abuse

People in their 40s are behind a surge in drink and drug related hospital admissions, a review has shown. 

A total of 533,302 people in England were admitted to hospital with serious health problems related to alcohol or drug use since 2010. 

Of those, a fifth (120,81) were aged between 40-49. Some were admitted a number of times between 2010 and 2013. 

The review, released by research group Dr Foster, said those from the least wealthy backgrounds were four times more likely than the wealthiest to end up in hospital. 

A tenth of all emergency admissions are related to drug and alcohol abuse, costing the NHS £600 million per year to treat related conditions, such as liver problems. 

Roger Taylor, co-founder of Dr Foster told the BBC that the increasing problems could be a particular issue among people born in the 80s. He said: “It seems they are the ones that have used drinks and drugs more than previous generations and it is now catching up with them in middle age."

Lord Adebowale, chief executive of Turning Point, a charity that works with people with addiction problems, said: "These figures remind us that drug and alcohol misuse is a major health challenge and that binge drinking does not only affect younger people."

He added the scale of the problem showed there needed to be a co-ordinated response to helping those affected as addiction could have an impact on "families, housing and employment".

"Early intervention is critical if we are to stop intergenerational problems escalating.