It seems you can hardly open a newspaper these days without reading about the incredible pressures that A&E departments are under. We have become accustomed to seeing photographs, and reading reports, of patients waiting for hours to be assessed, as hospital staff struggle to attend to the never-ending backlog.
H Is Not for Hangover
Simon Steven, the Chief Executive of NHS England, points out that the ‘H’ in NHS does not stand for ‘hangover’, as he alerted hospital staff to the anticipated flood of drunken revellers during recent New Year’s celebrations. During the already hectic winter months, binge-drinking youngsters were expected to stretch A&E resources almost to breaking point.
According to Mr Steven, drunken youngsters are guilty of selfish behaviour by getting so drunk that they require emergency medical attention for alcohol-induced illness and injury. These self-inflicted problems divert NHS resources away from people with genuine medical emergencies.
Teenage Girls Most at Risk
Mr Steven’s comments followed a report by the OECD which included figures showing that almost a third of 15-year-old girls have been drunk more than once, with boys not far behind. These results place Britain third in a league table of 26 countries, with only Hungary and Denmark having higher incidences of binge-drinking.
According to the BBC, teenage girls are the worst offenders for drinking to excess, with hospital admissions due to alcohol poisoning doubling within the last six years.
Aside from the obvious immediate issues of binge-drinking, medical practitioners are concerned that drinking to excess whilst still young can severely impact upon a person’s health later in life. The health service is calling on the government to investigate the issues surrounding drinking to excess and come up with some solutions, possibly with the assistance of a specialist contract research organization such as http://www.gandlscientific.com/contract-research-organization/.
Of course, it’s not just the young who are guilty of drinking to excess, but it tends to be this age group which will end up in A&E departments due to drunken revelling. NHS staff hope that by targeting young people, and raising awareness of alcohol problems amongst this age group, they can limit the damage done throughout the person’s life. This would lead to lower incidences of drink-related problems, such as liver disease, requiring treatment from the NHS in the future.