New Public Health England data released this week has revealed that nearly 10,000 people living in the South West aged 65 and over were hospitalised in 2021/22 - the year following the global pandemic - for primary alcohol related conditions.

The figure - 9,667- equates to 761 people per 100,000 living in the South West over the age of 65 requiring admission into NHS hospitals where the primary diagnosis (the main reason for admission) is an alcohol-related condition.

The alcohol-related conditions include ethanol poisoning, alcoholic liver disease, excess alcohol blood levels, alcoholic cardiomyopathy and mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol, to name a few.

What’s more, a further 14,774 people aged between 40 and 64 years old (783 per 100,000) were also hospitalised for primary alcohol-related conditions during the same year.

This gives a total of 24,441 people aged over 40 in the South West who were hospitalised in the year following the Covid-crisis, raising concern about the rise of alcohol misuse in the region from local alcohol addiction experts at the UK Addiction Treatment Group.

According to the data, analysed by the local alcohol experts at the UK Addiction Treatment Group, 58% (8,603) of those hospitalised aged 40-64 years old were male and 72% (6,965) of those aged 65+ and hospitalised were male.

Nuno Albuquerque, Head of Treatment at the local alcohol treatment specialists the UK Addiction Treatment Group said: ‘The Covid-crisis was difficult for everyone, but for the elderly, we’re now seeing how much it really affected their mental and physical health.

‘Turning to alcohol as a way to cope with the loneliness and fear that 2020 brought is something that many people did, but for those age over 65 in particular, a large proportion in the region are now requiring help for their alcohol use.

‘We’re also very concerned about those in the 40-64 age bracket- males in particular- whose alcohol problems are getting to the level where hospital admission is necessary.’

Alcohol consumption is a contributing factor to hospital admissions and deaths from a diverse range of conditions. Alcohol misuse is estimated to cost the NHS about £3.5 billion per year and society as a whole £21 billion annually.

24/7 confidential help and guidance for alcohol misuse is available at