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Government pledges £6 million to tackle alcohol mis-use

Published:  05 November, 2008

The government has announced details of a £6 million campaign to help problem drinkers.

The government has announced details of a £6 million campaign to help problem drinkers.

Twenty areas, idenitified as the worst hit by alcohol problems, will each get a share of £3 million, under a new Alcohol Improvement Programme.

Another £2 million will be spent on the regional alcohol managers who will coordinate their efforts, and £1 million will fund a new Alcohol Learning Centre.

Public Health Minister, Dawn Primarolo, said: "More than a quarter of adults in England drink above Government guidelines and around 15,000 people die because of alcohol every year. We clearly have a serious problem that needs urgent attention.

"Starting with the most deprived areas in inequality hotspots, we are going to roll out a new programme which will identify and help drinkers who are at risk.

"For every pound spent on alcohol intervention, five pounds are saved by the public purse - so this is money well spent."

The move has been welcomed by Alcohol Concern. Chief executive Don Shenker said: "Problem drinkers have faced a postcode lottery for services for far too long.

"This new injection of cash is most welcome for the areas worst affected by alcohol misuse and all areas will benefit from improved information and guidance.

"Slowly, but surely, local areas are now being provided with the tools they need to invest in alcohol treatment.

"The challenge will be for them to convert this into services on the ground for those who need it most."

Most of the areas named are in the midlands or north. Only one is in the south-east.

Ahead of the roll out of the campaign, the government said it had identified nine types of binge drinker.

Will this campaign by the government to curb problem drinking work? Have your say in our forum area.