24 Jul 2013

Dangerous drinking levels in south, report shows

8:32 pm on 24 July 2013

There is more dangerous drinking in Otago and Southland than anywhere else in New Zealand, a report from the regions' district health board shows.

The report by the Southern DHB pulled together information from hospital admissions, emergency department presentations and surveys of GPs and other health professionals.

It found that 24% of the area's population drink a hazardous amount of alcohol each week, compared with 17% nationwide.

The lower South Island area also has the highest rate of alcohol-related hospital admissions for young people and the highest level of psychological distress due to drinking.

The study has been put together to help local councils' decisions on their alcohol policies.

Southern DHB medical officer of health Derek Bell said the report recommends that on-licence sales end at 2am and off-licence sales are only allowed between 8am and 10pm.