Alcohol Deaths among Women on the Increase

The latest figures on alcohol-related deaths published by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) show a 65% increase in female deaths between 2013 and 2017.

The statistics show that the overall number of deaths attributed to alcohol in Northern Ireland has reached record levels.  In 2017 there were 303 alcohol-related deaths – 30% more than ten years ago.  While men still account for the majority of these deaths (70%) there are concerns about the increase in the number of deaths among women.  Statistics also indicated there are notably higher numbers of alcohol-related deaths in areas of deprivation in Northern Ireland.  People living in the most deprived areas are four times more likely to die from an alcohol-related death than those in the least deprived areas.

Dr Roger McCorry from the Belfast Trust’s Alcohol Care Team described the number of young women he is seeing with advanced liver disease as “tragic”.

Dr McCorry has concerns that alcohol is more accessible than ever and believes much could be learned from Scotland.  In Scotland laws are in place to set a minimum price for drinks depending on how many units of alcohol they contain.  The collapse of the Northern Ireland Assembly has stalled attempts to have similar legislation introduced in Northern Ireland.  Dr McCorry has raised concerns that the message about the dangers of alcohol is not getting through to the general public.