MORE than 30,000 people were admitted to hospitals across Essex in one year because of alcohol.

According to NHS data in 2018, almost 135,000 people were admitted to hospitals across the East of England because of drinking.

In Essex, there were 30,590 people admitted to hospital in 2018/19 up 39 per cent in six years.

In 2012/13, there were 22,070 admissions due to alcohol across the county.

Of those 2018/19 admissions, 19,670 were men, compared to 10,920 women.

The figures show in Colchester there were 2,440 alcohol-related NHS hospital admissions in 2012/13 but this shot up to 3,440 in 2018/19.

In Tendring, there were 2,700 six years ago and 3,890 in 2018/19.

Conditions for hospital admission due to alcohol include intoxication, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, alcohol poisoning and alcoholic liver disease.

Nuno Albuquerque, group treatment lead at Essex-based addiction firm UKAT, said: “The problem with alcohol in this country is a ticking time bomb about to explode.

“NHS hospitals in particular across the East of England are crippling under pressures directly attributable to the misuse of alcohol; a drug that is so socially accepted yet so incredibly dangerous.

“People here are seemingly struggling with their alcohol consumption; drinking so much alcohol that it is leading to hospitalisation and the diagnosis of further, debilitating conditions, yet the Government continues to have their heads buried in the sand.

“The question is, why do we still not have an Alcohol-specific Strategy, as promised back in 2018?

“It is a huge problem and one that needs immediately addressed as a matter of urgency.”