The report by the Local Alcohol Profile for England revealed that hospital admissions for under 18s had fallen by 50% and for females by 42% since 2008/9 and under 40s by 12.5% over the last five years.
CAMRA Chief Executive Tim Page says: “It is positive news that hospital admissions relating to alcohol harm are falling, and that it has been proven that local community pubs have played an important role in this trend. Research published earlier this year from Oxford University shows that people who have a ‘local’ pub drink less on average while in that pub, as compared to casual visitors to larger city-centre pubs and bars.
“The research demonstrates that there is a clear link between an individual having a ‘local’ and whether they feel like they are part of a wider community. People with a local reported feeling more content with their lives, enjoy a wider network of friends and are more socially engaged while in a pub. The research concludes that pub-goers are likely to drink less if those around them are behaving in a more measured way and are, as a result, likely to be less tolerant of socially inappropriate or excessive behaviour.
“This is why it is especially important that we continue to support pubs across the country, particularly those facing the threat of closure, to ensure that everyone has a ‘local’ within easy distance of their home or workplace.”
Tim Page was also critical of the new alcohol drinking guidelines announced earlier in the year by the Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies.
He said: “These new figures on hospital admissions point towards a more responsible approach to alcohol consumption. We at CAMRA maintain there should be greater acknowledgement by Government of the distinction between those who drink in moderation in responsibly-managed social settings, and those who abuse alcohol – most often bought from supermarkets and drunk at home.
“We believe the revised guidelines lack credibility, are the result of inappropriately selective scientific evidence and are out of line with international standards. Our view is that guidance should be specific to individuals and the product of of a wider range of factors, rather than the result of a ‘one size fits all’ approach that we believe is both inappropriate and illustrative of an overprotective and interfering mindset.”