New figures reveal the North East continues to record the highest rate of alcohol-related hospital admissions in England.
Middlesbrough tops the table, with the most admissions in the region and across the country. South Tyneside, Sunderland and North Tyneside also make the English top ten.
The figures do not only relate to the direct effects of drinking. They also take in other admissions which have followed alcohol consumption, such as falls, assaults and other injuries.
Dr Vincent Connolly assesses patients when they arrive at A and E in Middlesbrough.
He says the cost of alcohol misuse is twofold: patient health and NHS resources.
The North East Alcohol Office, Balance, says admissions span the ages, from young binge drinkers to those who have spent a lifetime consuming alcohol.
The organisation, though, says there is some good news. The level of alcohol-related hospital admissions is falling faster in the North East than any other region.
The new figures have been compiled by the Health and Social Care Information Centre. It believes that across the country, the percentage of people who regularly drink is falling.
Balance says while there is cause for optimism in the North East, there is much work still to do.
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