Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, has published research that shows there has been a worrying rise in the number of young people with alcohol-related liver disease.
Commenting on the research, Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance and Royal College of Physicians special adviser on alcohol, said:
I have been a liver specialist for more than 30 years and until recently it was virtually unheard of to come across such young patients suffering with alcohol-related liver disease.
We need tough action on alcohol misuse, including the introduction of a minimum unit price. There is good evidence that young people, binge drinkers and heavy drinkers prefer cheaper drinks, and these groups are especially responsive to price. Research from Canada shows that minimum unit price works and results in a decrease in alcohol-related deaths.
Alcohol misuse causes many issues for society. In addition to the billions of pounds spent by the NHS on alcohol-related disease, alcohol is associated with around half of all crimes in Britain, and is linked to 40% of all domestic violence cases.
Minimum unit pricing is a targeted policy that promises to save thousands of lives and prevent tens of thousands of crimes.