Alcohol Use

The number of premises and clubs licensed to sell or supply alcohol by the licensing authorities in Devon are shown in tables 9.4 and 9.5, respectively, with the highest levels seen in North Devon (106 premises per 100,000 population).

Table 9.4, Number of premise licences permitted to sell or supply alcohol by licensable activity, 31st March 2014

DistrictOn-sale/supply alcohol onlyOff-sale alcohol onlyOn- and off- sale/supply alcoholLicenses with late night refreshmentTotalRate per 10,000 population over 18
East Devon11512128425777770
Mid Devon536414412438562
North Devon121122343217803106
South Hams1149521612955481
West Devon544713810033977

Source: Devon Local Authority Districts, 2015

Table 9.5, Number of club premises certificates permitted to sell or supply alcohol by licensable activity, 31st March 2014

DistrictOn-sale/supply alcohol onlyOn- and off- sale/supply alcoholTotalRate per 10,000 population over 18
East Devon2235575
Mid Devon1036467
North Devon434385
South Hams737446
West Devon324276

Source: Devon Local Authority Districts, 2015

Figure 9.15 displays average alcohol consumption by type in the United Kingdom between 1899 and 2013. Great increases in alcohol consumption were seen between the 1960s and 1990s, with increasing consumption of wine, spirits and cider and decreasing consumption of beer. Average consumption peaked in 2004 and has been decreasing ever since.

Figure 9.15, Litres of pure alcohol consumed per person per year by type, United Kingdom, 1899 to 2013

Figure 9.15 Alcohol consumed per person per year
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Source: British Beer and Pub Association, 2014

This pattern is being driven by a reduction in the number of young people drinking alcohol, which has fallen nationally from over 60% in 1988 to below 45% in 2012 as illustrated in figure 9.16.

Figure 9.16, Proportion of pupils at age 15 in England who had ever had an alcoholic drink (1988-2012)

Figure 9.16 Proportion of pupils at age 15 who had ever had an acoholic drink 1988-2012
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Source: Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use among young people in England in 2012. Health and Social Care Information Centre, 2013

Figure 9.17 reveals the proportion of people binge drinking (men who have consumed more than eight units of alcohol and women more than six units at least once in the past week) has also reduced. This is in all age groups, except those aged 65 years and over, with the greatest reductions seen in the 16 to 24 age group.

Figure 9.17, Binge drinking in men and women by age group, UK, 2005 to 2012

Figure 9.17 Binge drinking in men and woman by age group 2005-2012
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Source: Office for National Statistics Opinions and Lifestyle Survey, 2012

Two related measures of alcohol-related hospital admissions exist. The first is a narrow definition, used in the Public Health Outcomes Framework, which covers admissions where the primary diagnosis was alcohol-related or where there was an alcohol-related external cause including accidents, self-harm and intentional injury. The broad definition also includes admissions where secondary diagnoses were alcohol-related, which captures a wider range of chronic health conditions where alcohol is a contributory factor. The further analyses in this report use the broad definition of alcohol-related hospital admission to better represent the overall impact on alcohol use.

There were around 17,500 admissions to hospital due to alcohol-related conditions in Devon in 2013-14, at a cost of around £30 million. North Devon and Torridge have the highest alcohol-related hospital admission rates, as shown in table 9.6. However, there is considerable variation within local authority districts, with the highest rate within small local areas in Devon (lower super output areas) around 13 times higher than the lowest.

Table 9.6, Overall, highest and lowest alcohol-related admission rates by Devon local authority district, 2011-12 to 2013-14, direct-age standardised rate (DASR) per 100,000

DistrictDASR per 100,000Area with highest rateArea with lowest rate
East Devon1277.1Honiton King Street area2537.9Uplyme and Axmouth area465.3
Exeter1683.6Longbrook Street area3963.0Matford Lane and St Leonards road654.5
Mid Devon1234.7Tiverton: The Avenue area2135.1Clayhanger and surrounding areas634.5
North Devon2064.2Barnstaple Town Centre6061.3Woolacombe and surrounding areas1136.6
South Hams1568.2Ivybridge Central2965.8Dittisham and surrounding areas971.8
Teignbridge1569.3Newton Abbot: Windsor Avenue, Buckland3247.3Combeinteignhead and surrounding areas740.8
Torridge1950.5South East Bideford4465.8Clawton and surrounding areas1006.4
West Devon1512.3Tavistock East2979.2Beaworthy and surrounding areas849.5
Devon1582.5Barnstaple Town Centre6061.3Uplyme and Axmouth area465.3

Source: Secondary Uses Service, Commissioning Dataset (Inpatient), 2014

Chronic long-term conditions make up the largest group of alcohol-related hospital admissions accounting for 13,061 admissions (74.6%), with mental illness the next biggest group (3,256 admissions, 18.6%), and acute conditions the smallest group (1,187 admissions, 6.8%), as shown in figure 9.18.

Figure 9.18, Number of alcohol-related admissions by condition type

Figure 9.18 Number of alcohol related admissions by condition type
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Source: Secondary Uses Service, Commissioning Dataset (Inpatient), 2014

Acute risks to health, such as injury and poisoning occur more frequently in younger age groups, with admissions for alcohol-related mental health conditions peaking in the 40s, 50s and 60s, and chronic long-term health conditions increasing in later life (figure 9.19). The ageing population in Devon will lead to considerable growth in both chronic and mental conditions.

Figure 9.19, Alcohol-related hospital admissions by age and type, 2013-14

Figure 9.19 Alcohol related hospital admissions by age and type 2013-2014
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Source: Secondary Uses Service, Commissioning Dataset (Inpatient), 2014

Adults living in affluent areas consume more alcohol. The 2011 General Lifestyle Survey households on higher incomes are more likely to have drunk alcohol in the last week and to have done so on five or more days. However, adverse effects of alcohol disproportionally affect those living in areas with higher deprivation, with people living in the most deprived areas are around two and a half times more likely to be admitted for an alcohol-related condition or die from an alcohol-related cause than those in the least deprived areas.