A CAMPAIGN to tackle alcohol abuse has been unveiled by public health experts.

The campaign could include imposing a minimum unit price for alcohol, while also trying to cut the price of non-alcoholic drinks in bars.

The strategy has been drawn up by North Yorkshire County Council’s health and adult services working with various partner organisations.

The move follows the revelation that alcohol-related hospital admissions are increasing and nearly 200 people die in North Yorkshire every year as a result of alcohol.

It is also associated with crime, including domestic violence and sexual crime, and features in anti-social behaviour in particular with over a quarter of incidents associated with alcohol in some areas.

The strategy will include:

• Support for schools to make pupils aware of alcohol abuse risks;

• Increase capacity to prevent under-age sales; l Supporting the development of services in areas where professionals come regularly into contact with people suffering the consequences of excessive alcohol consumption;

• Increasing the uptake and ensuring the effectiveness of the GP-led NHS health checks to identify people aged 40 to74 at risk of harm from alcohol;

• Explore the feasibility of a minimum price of alcohol; l Explore the feasibility of increasing the availability and reducing the price of non-alcoholic drinks in licensed premises.

“In North Yorkshire, although about one in seven adults abstains from alcohol, about a quarter of all people who drink are estimated to be drinking at harmful or hazardous levels,” said county councillor Don Mackenzie, executive member for public health. “For too many people, harmful or hazardous drinking has become normal.”

People have until May 28 to give their views at northyorks.gov.uk/alcoholconsultation