Sunderland still one of the worst for alcohol-related deaths - despite fall in national booze abuse fatalities

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WEARSIDE continues to be one of the worst areas in the country for alcohol-related deaths – despite a fall in the number of people dying from booze abuse nationally.

The North East has the second-highest rate of alcohol-related deaths in men in England at 17.6 deaths per 100,000, compared to an England average rate of 14.7 per 100,000, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

According to the latest figures, in 2012 a total of 405 North East people died as a result of alcohol abuse, a fall from 461 in 2011. Overall, there were 8,367 alcohol-related deaths in the UK.

Campaigners welcomed the fall but said more must be done to restrict the sale of cheap alcohol.

Sue Taylor, partnerships manager at Balance, the North East Alcohol Office which is campaigning for a minimum unit price for alcohol, said: “Although we welcome the fact that rates here in the North East fell faster than the England average in the last year, we continue to have one of the biggest problems with alcohol in England.

“There’s been an astonishing leap in alcohol related deaths over the last two decades and it’s particularly alarming that our rate of alcohol-related female deaths is a third higher than the England average.

Ms Taylor added: “We must do more. People are dying because alcohol is far too cheap.

“It’s available on nearly every street corner at all hours of the day and night and it’s far too heavily promoted.”