Sunderland’s ‘bar bill’ amounts to £111.6million as impact of alcohol hits

The cost of alcohol on Sunderland has been laid out by Balance.
The cost of alcohol on Sunderland has been laid out by Balance.
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The bill totted up by the impact of alcohol hit Sunderland in the pocket by £111.6million during the last year.

The new figures show the cost equates to £403 for every man, woman and child across Wearside as the authorities pick up the pieces in the fall out caused by drink.

How alcohol affects Sunderland

How alcohol affects Sunderland

Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, has found the city’s high alcohol consumption is taking its toll on taxpayers and businesses every year. This focused on hospital admissions, crime and disorder, sickness, absenteeism and lost productivity by workers and in social services support for families affected by alcohol issues.

Colin Shevills, its director, said: “All of us are paying dearly for alcohol misuse, whether people drink or not.

“High alcohol consumption wrecks families, impacts on workplaces and is a drain on the NHS and police at a time when they are coping with huge budget pressures.

“Meanwhile alcohol is promoted around the clock on TV, billboards and social media, and sold too cheaply through cut price deals in supermarkets and convenience stores, especially in poorer areas where people suffer the worst ill health.

All of us are paying dearly for alcohol misuse, whether people drink or not.

Colin Shevills

“What is needed now is action at national level to put health and public services above the interests of major alcohol corporations.”

Councillor John Kelly, Sunderland City Council’s cabinet member for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, said: “As a council we commission a number of services across the city to work with residents to raise awareness of the harm caused by alcohol and provide help, advice and information to those who need it.”

He added more than 1,000 people have been trained to offer support as part of the Sunderland Health Champions programme, with its Live Life Well Service reaching out to those who need help.

It also backs Wear Recovery for adults and under 18s via the Youth, Drug and Alcohol project.