Persistent binge-drinkers who turn up at police stations and hospital casualty departments could be fast-tracked into detox under new government plans. Ministers are expected to reveal the proposals this week as part of a new strategy to fight alcohol abuse. The number of deaths resulting from drinking has doubled in men since 1993 and risen by 67% among women to an annual total of 22,000. But campaigners warn that the new initiative could create a logjam. They point out that problem drinkers already have to wait up to a year for treatment and in some areas waiting lists have been suspended. The Independent on Sunday 03/06/07 pages 20 & 21