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North Yorkshire Alcohol Strategy 2016

The North Yorkshire Alcohol Strategy describes the problem, builds the case for action and sets out our 5-year vision. It outlines what is needed at strategic level to counter the impacts, and describes how we would measure success

Big issues

What is the picture in North Yorkshire?

The North Yorkshire Alcohol Health Needs Assessment was updated at the end of 2013. The key points identified from it and the Joint Strategic Intelligence Assessment are:

 Risk of alcohol related harm

·        Modelled estimates of alcohol consumption show between 7-8% of the North Yorkshire population who drink are classified as higher risk drinkers; 20-22% are classified as increasing risk drinkers; 71-74% are classified as lower risk drinkers

·        Nationally around 4% of 16-64 year olds are classed as dependent

·        Modelled binge drinking rates are between 23.2% and 28.1% with the highest estimated rates in Richmondshire.

These are all higher than the England rate

·        Modelled rates of abstainers as a percentage within the total population aged 16 years and over are between 12.8% to 14.8%

·        Nationally, hazardous drinking rates are highest in the 45-64 year old age band, followed by the 25-44, 16-24 and 65+ age bands respectively

·        Drinking in pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage and Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. National data indicates that 5% of pregnant women drank alcohol on two or more days prior to interview compared with 20% (women aged 16-49 years) who were not pregnant or unsure.

 The local North Yorkshire Police data from 2013/14 and 2014/15 shows a 5.2% increase in domestic abuse incidents related to alcohol.  There was also a similar increase (4.5%) in the percentage of sexual crimes related to alcohol.


The Strategy includes the vision statement:

‘Working together to reduce the harm caused by alcohol to individuals, families, communities and businesses in North Yorkshire while ensuring that people are able to enjoy alcohol responsibly’.

In order to achieve that vision, it identifies three outcome areas:

•          Establish responsible and sensible drinking as the norm

•          Identify and support those who need help through recovery

•          Reduce alcohol-related disorder

 The Growing Up in North Yorkshire Survey 2014 reports that the use of alcohol is in decline among all young people, e.g. notable increase from 47% to 83% of Year 6 pupils who say they never drink alcohol between 2012 and 2014. 

North Yorkshire is following the England trend in that there has been an overall increase in the rate for men dying from alcohol specific conditions. The trend in alcohol specific death amongst men varies between district areas. Ryedale district has seen a marked downward trend between 2009 -11 and is below the England average. Richmondshire (9 alcohol specific deaths between 2011-13) has been consistently rising towards the England average (16.6 between 2011-13). Craven has also seen a slight rise in the latest reporting period (9.9 in 2010-2012 to 11.9 in 2011-13). Scarborough has shown the highest level of variance over the time period. 

North Yorkshire is following the England trend in relation to the rate for women dying from alcohol specific conditions, and has seen a levelling in the rate of deaths, after a slight increase for those dying from alcohol specific conditions.  In women the trend in alcohol specific deaths varies between district areas.  Scarborough has been consistently above the England average (8.6 alcohol specific deaths between 2011-13). Richmondshire has seen the most rapidly rising increase (4 between 2009-11 to 10.6 in 2011-13).  Craven has shown a slight decline (9.7 in 2007-09 to 5.5 in 2010-13, Selby has also seen a decline in the most recent period (5.8 in 2011-13). The rest of the areas have shown an increase. (Source: LAPE alcohol Profiles 2013, ONS Mortality statistics.) 

The rate of alcohol related admissions in England has been increasing inexorably over the last decade and has more than doubled between 2006-07 and 2010-11.

 In North Yorkshire, the trend is still increasing up to the most currently available data and of most concern is the gap between North Yorkshire and England continuing to narrow.