HC Deb 06 March 2002 vol 381 c435W
Mr. Hopkins

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many deaths were attributable to alcohol misuse in each of the last five years. [38653]

Yvette Cooper

Information collected centrally about the cause of deaths does not systematically record whether a death is attributable to alcohol misuse. A number of health and lifestyle factors can contribute to diseases such as cancer, stroke and coronary heart disease, and it can be difficult to isolate alcohol consumption as the most important of these factors.

A research review commissioned by the Department in 1997 concluded that between 5,000 and 40,000 deaths are attributable to alcohol misuse each year in England and Wales.

Mr. Hopkins

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff in his Department work on measures specifically to tackle(a) alcohol misuse and (b) drugs misuse. [38652]

Ms Blears

Within the Sexual Health & Substance Misuse branch, there are 20 staff members working on drug treatment, drug prevention and alcohol issues. Within the wider Department, staff from other branches work alongside the dedicated substance misuse team e.g. statisticians and finance experts. It is not possible to quantify numbers as they work in a wide range of policy areas.