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Dublin: 17°C Thursday 24 June 2021

Here's how many people were treated for alcohol dependence in Irish hospitals

New figures have also revealed a big drop in the number of people being treated for alcohol-related liver disease in recent years following a massive increase in the boom years.

Image: Nick Potts/PA Archive/Press Association Images

NEW RESEARCH SHOWS that 39 people a day were admitted to Irish hospitals to be treated for alcohol dependence in one year alone.

The figures compiled by doctors found that 14,239 people had to be admitted with alcohol issues in 2011 – and doctors say that the actual treatment for people with serious alcohol problems remains problematic.

Doctors surveyed for the research said there is an over-reliance on voluntary organisations such as Alcoholics Anonymous to provide support to patients with alcohol problems; just 5 per cent of doctors surveyed said they were able to refer patients directly to psychological services to deal with their addiction.

The research also found there was a massive increase in the number of people treated for liver disease related to high alcohol intake during the boom years. However since 2011, there has been a significant drop.

Researchers found a 335 per cent increase in hospital admissions for alcohol-related liver disease in the years beginning in 1995. This began dropping in 2008, with a 16 per cent decline in 2011.

“The surprising thing is that this reduction has not happened sooner,” said Professor Aiden McCormick of St Vincent’s Hospital.

Doctors at the liver units in St Vincent’s Hospital and the Mater Hospital in Dublin carried out the study, which will be presented at a meeting of the Irish Society of Gastroenterology in Kerry today.

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