New figures released by the Office for National Statistics have revealed that alcohol-specific deaths recorded in 2020 - the year of the coronavirus crisis - are the highest ever recorded in history for people living across Yorkshire and The Humber.
The data - analysed by alcohol-addiction treatment experts UKAT - shows that the alcohol death toll across Yorkshire and The Humber in 2020 stands at 800; a 10% annual rise from when 730 alcohol-specific deaths were recorded.
UKAT’s analysis shows that the death toll has also risen by 32% since records began in 2013, when just 605 people living across Yorkshire lost their lives to alcohol.
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An alcohol-specific death is categorised by certain causes of death, such as alcoholic liver disease, accidental poisoning by and exposure to alcohol, alcohol-induced acute pancreatitis and mental and behavioural disorders due to the use of alcohol, alcoholic cardiomyopathy and the degeneration of the nervous system due to alcohol, to name a few.
Over half (529) of those who lost their lives to alcohol in 2020 were male, according to UKAT’s analysis of the figures.
The alcohol death rate per 100,000 people reached a staggering 16.0 in the last quarter of 2020, between October and December.
At no other time since records began in 2013 has the rate per 100,000 people living across the North West who lost their lives to alcohol been as high as it was between October and December of 2020 (Q4) when it stood at a staggering 18.2.
Nuno Albuquerque, Head of Treatment for the UK Addiction Treatment Group (UKAT) who analysed the figures, said: “We must remember that these aren’t just numbers; these are people’s mothers, fathers, neighbours and friends living across Yorkshire who have lost their lives to alcohol, people who during a global pandemic had to endure the heartache of losing a loved one to a substance so widely accepted in society.
“2020 was an incredibly difficult year, and so it is saddening but unsurprising to see that more people than ever turned to alcohol as a coping strategy, which in these instances, caused them to lose their lives.