4,000 people seek help from Portsmouth’s alcohol team

Penny Daniels

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PORTSMOUTH City Council’s alcohol intervention team has received 4,000 referrals since it was formed more than four years ago, new figures reveal.

The team of 11 staff, funded by the NHS, offer free confidential advice on how to cut down or stop drinking.

As well as advice the team offers therapies such as acupuncture.

Portsmouth has the second highest rate of alcohol-related hospital admissions in the south east – about 4,000 people a year – and 60 per cent of these are men aged over 35.

And as many as 14,000 A&E attendances per year are alcohol-related. It is estimated that alcohol misuse costs the NHS over £10m per year in Portsmouth alone.

Fiona Macleod, manager of the Alcohol Interventions Team, said: ‘We are delighted to get our 4,000th referral – this is a significant milestone for the team. The team was set up to work closely with GPs and our hospitals to provide advice to their patients.

‘Since this time the service has expanded and now delivers alcohol support in a number of community settings across the city.

‘Alcohol can have a harmful effect on your physical and mental health both in the short and long term as well as having a negative impact on your finances, relationships and behaviour often leading people to take risks they normally wouldn’t. Because of this we want to support people in the city.’

Call the team on (023) 9284 1753 or email ait@portsmouthcc.gov.uk