The number of people who died from alcohol-related causes jumped in the last decade, according to a report by Alcohol Concern. It said that alcohol-related deaths officially recorded by hospitals increased by a third, from around 3,000 in 1986 to approximately 5,000 in 1997, but claims the real number of all deaths connected with alcohol misuse is closer to 33,000.

Alcohol Concern says alcohol abuse is costing Britain £3.3bn a year. The biggest impact is on industry - £2.8bn is lost through sickness, unemployment and premature death. It also claims it costs the NHS £200m to treat drink-related illness.

The report claims alcohol abuse is linked to:

• 65% of suicide attempts

• 76,000 facial injuries a year

• 23% of child neglect calls to national helplines

• 39% of fires

• 60% to 70% of domestic violence

• 41% of violent crimes

Among the proposals Alcohol Concern wants adopted are:

* drink-drive limit cut from 80 milligrams to 50mgs of alcohol per 100mls of blood

* police given wider breath-testing powers

* bans on the sale of glass bottles in pubs

* high-profile annual alcohol awareness campaign

* better alcohol education for young people

* more money for treatment and counselling

* training for staff selling and serving alcohol

For more information go to: http://www.alcoholconcern.org.uk