Balance North East have reported 60% rise in cases of Alcoholic Liver Disease (ALD) in young people over the last seven years. An open letter from liver specialists echoed their deep concerns about an increasingly younger profile of those with ALD, reporting a 400% increase in 30-34 year olds being admitted with alcoholic liver disease since 2002.
Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, called for action to protect young people from exposure to alcohol. Balance urges the Government to instigate a ban on advertising on TV, in cinemas unless accompanying an over 18 film, and to end sports and cultural sponsorship by the drinks industry. Dr Chris Record, a NE Liver Specialist advised adults to drink within recommended limits and the Government to consider increasing the legal age of consumption from 5 to 15 years.
Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing said more should be done to ensure robust regulation and sensible minimum alcohol pricing if the problem were to be tackled, an article in The Journal reported.
A DH spokesperson stated that they were working with partners to develop a new Liver Strategy which will advise on early detection and intervention with people at risk of developing liver disease, due to be published shortly. Under the new framework for Public Health, the responsibility for tackling alcohol harms will be devolved to a local level. The Government will publish a new national alcohol strategy in 2012