Summer bingeing costs

  • Damien O'Connor

Two hundred and fifty people were hospitalised in the Nelson area because of alcohol over the last two holiday seasons.

Figures released by Nelson-Malborough DHB show 118 people were admitted to hospital with alcohol related harm last December and Janurary. The previous summer, 132 people were hospitalised.

West Coast-Tasman MP and Associate Health Minister Damien O'Connor said the figures were alarming.

"They support the finding that one in six New Zealanders are risky drinkers.

"The Christmas-New Year period is a great time to relax and unwind, and it’s traditional to have a few drinks. But the figures show people are going too far too often.

"Binge drinking is common in New Zealand and it's dangerous. There are serious health risks involved, and alcohol-related hospital admissions are a waste of hospital resources."

Earlier this month, Mr O'Connor launched a campaign promoting moderate summer drinking . He urged all New Zealanders to moderate their drinking behaviour in order to reduce harm.

"We must address the uglier side of drinking. I'm not saying don't drink, I'm saying don't go overboard."