Intended for healthcare professionals


Government has failed to tackle alcohol harms and must act, say MPs

BMJ 2023; 381 doi: (Published 23 May 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;381:p1192
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

The government is failing to take a “proportionate and serious approach” to tackling alcohol related harms in England, with more than eight in 10 dependent drinkers not receiving treatment, an inquiry by MPs has concluded.

In a report1 published on 24 May, the Commons Public Accounts Committee noted an “alarming increase” of 89% in alcohol related deaths over the past 20 years, with particularly sharp rises since 2019.

The report highlighted that alcohol is linked to over 100 illnesses; can drive mental disorders, self-harm, and suicide; and is a major cause of preventable death. In 2019-20 it was linked to 42% of all violent crime, up from 40% the previous year.

Yet despite these statistics, a “staggering” 82% of the 600 000 dependent drinkers in England are …

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