AROUND 27,000 adults in Poole drink more than the government-recommended safer limits for their health, a new report has revealed.

A report to NHS Bournemouth and Poole warns that the town’s young people drink more than the national average, and that the risks of problem drinking to older people are both under-researched and under-resourced.

The town’s drinking habits have been put under the spotlight as part of a new strategy to reduce the harm caused by alcohol over the next three years.

Poole reflects the national picture, in that around 26 per cent of the adult population drinks more than the guidelines of three to four units a day for men and two to three for women.

“Over the years, typical glass sizes have grown and drinks have increased in strength. The old belief that a glass of wine was about one unit has become absolutely out of date,” says the strategy document.

“Encouraging everyone who drinks to do so in a safe, sensible and social way is a big challenge.

“We don’t want drunken violence, vandalism and packed accident and emergency departments to be the hallmark of a weekend night out in Poole.”

It adds that alcohol misuse costs the UK £18-25 billion a year through disorders, disease, crime, anti-social behaviour and loss of productivity – all issues reflected in Poole.

But “considerable” progress had been made since Poole’s first alcohol harm reduction strategy was published three years ago. A key part of that was the Bit Intervention Therapy Service.

In Poole, it targets patients turning up at Poole Hospital’s emergency department with alcohol-related injuries and people whose alcohol-related behaviour brings them to police attention.

More than 2,000 people have successfully completed the therapy.

In 2007, alcohol-related admissions to Poole Hospital were much higher than the England average.

By 2009 they were much lower.