Alcohol Statistics for Lewisham

As I start looking forward to meeting up with fellow Lewisham bloggers this evening I thought I should revisit the issue of alcohol consumption in the borough.

Looking at the PCT website and the last health profile report I find:

Alcohol-related presentations at University Hospital Lewisham A&E department are estimated to account for 10% of patients overall. An estimated 6,500 presentations to GPs in the borough per year are alcohol-related.

I don’t know about you but that seems like quite a lot. So I started thinking about how we do compared with other areas.

This report suggests that in England:

an estimated 459,8361 people were admitted to hospital as a consequence of their alcohol consumption in 2005.

Hospital admissions for alcohol-related harm (NI 39) in London

Hospital admissions for alcohol-related harm (NI 39) in London

Here you can see that (if I’m reading things right) in Lewisham that translated into 1,392 hospital admissions for alcohol related harm last year, slightly higher than the regional average, but just about at the national average.

More worryingly for those of us off out tonight we live in an area where alcohol-related violent crime is significantly worse than both the national and regional average, as are alcohol fueled sexual offences.

If previous blogger meet ups are anything to go by those of us making our way to The Honor Oak won’t experience any of this.

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About Andrew Brown

I live in Lewisham, South East London, and spent 9 years as a Labour councillor in the borough between 1997 and 2006.
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29 Responses to Alcohol Statistics for Lewisham

  1. You might be interested in this:
    http://www.statistics.gov.uk/statbase/Product.asp?vlnk=14496

    See second link down.

    I’m sure this won’t be an issue this evening though!

  2. Max says:

    Alcohol is too generic.
    How many lager related admissions?
    How many victims of Châteauneuf-du-Pape?
    That’s the issue. Do you want European style drinking? Easy, just stop drinking poison!

  3. Sorry I can’t make it – hope to come along to one another time though.

  4. ross says:

    what’s this infatuation with ‘european style’ drinking as though europe’s one big homogenous blob

    european style drinking = polish & russian style drinking??

    france, spain & italy = europe??

    down with this kind of cultural imperliasm of the western european fascist states!

  5. Max says:

    Well yes Ross, with European style drinking I was meaning precisely Italy, France, Spain plus Portugal, Greece and similar, in short Southern Europe (or western european fascist states if you want).
    And if my geography is correct Russia lies across two continents but mostly in Asia.

  6. ross says:

    balkan europe included in this utopian southern europe is it!

    re russia – given land mass itself can’t actually get drunk but the 80% of russia’s overall population who live west of the urals can, my point stands (even though my original phrase was ‘russian style’ drinking, which given the cultural influence of russia in central & eastern europe expands the point beyond the citizens of the borders of that particular state)

    i’m arguing just for the sake of it now aren’t i……

  7. bagrec says:

    Once again I’m going to have to miss this get-together-
    I used up all my shoreleave last night.

    Have a good one!

  8. Max says:

    Nothing wrong with arguing for the sake of it, that’s what I’m doing right now.
    Anyway, I can speak with some knowledge of Southern Europe since I am indeed from there and specifically from Trieste that I argue is both Italian and Balkanian.
    It’s really difficult to say where one cultural influence starts and one ends in that part of the world but I don’t think I’m wrong in saying that Greeks are more inclined to sip their lovely wines nibbling some carefully assembled food chatting in relax rather than down 10 pints of lager at the pub or a bottle of Vodka sitting on a park bench.

  9. ross says:

    do you reckon many slovenians would see themselves as balkanian max? all of them who i’ve met couldn’t do enough to put as much distance as possible between their identity and that of the balkans (obviously there are specific historical reasons for this)

    but your right max, the greeks could learn a lot from the inhabitants of the british isles!

  10. Max says:

    If we really want to define the north-western cultural border of the Balkans then I suggest that that cuts Slovenia in two.
    The mountains are in central Europe, the closer you get to the sea the deeper you get into the balkanian melting pot, which as you rightly say has historical reasons and is the result of centuries of east-west confrontation between Venice, Austria and the Ottomans.
    I believe that Trieste is the last outpost of the Balkans, and many Italians would shoot me for saying so but they’re just in denial, and those Slovenians that think that the Balkans stop at the Croatian border are in denial too.

  11. Dear Mr. Brown: You are so right! My late husband & myself, had our health destroyed from drinking with friends, family, work mates in 30 yrs………….! But unlike getting rid of DRINKING…….the severity of the illness that we received, means that there is no cure, and basically, you have to live with it for the rest of your life !!!
    Excellent work !

  12. ross says:

    “I believe that Trieste is the last outpost of the Balkans, and many Italians would shoot me for saying so but they’re just in denial, and those Slovenians that think that the Balkans stop at the Croatian border are in denial too.”

    lucky for all them they’ve got you to keep them right with what they really think eh…

  13. Max says:

    I am not the only one to believe that there is where the borded is.

  14. ross says:

    think we’re diverging on topics here, physical borders can be a bit more objective (although they obviously over time feed into cultural differentiation), however cultural borders are pretty much subjective and if a whole clump of people think they are something, then they are that thing – ‘identity’ is not something that is given from others from the outside (although it’s obviously formed in relation to that outside)

  15. Max says:

    Do I spot a variation of the philosophical axiom “if I really believe in something then for me it’s real”?

  16. ross says:

    at the collective level of course, that’s all identities/nations are max, imagined self reinforcing communities

  17. Max says:

    Excellent definition but when it involves distancing themselves from your neighbours and your past and the claim is based on a highly selective reading of history then you may be in denial.
    Now, I believe that the phrase “balkanian situation” comes from the mess of nationalisms that brought down the Austrain-Hungarian Empire and started WWI, so although Slovenians may like to see themselves as Central Europeans rather than Balkanians they can’t legitimately put much distance between them and Croatia really. They speak roughly the same language, they were until recently all part of Yugoslavia and before WWI they were all part of the Austrian-Hungarian empire.
    Anyway, look at the map, I swear I never knew where the border of the Balkans was before now, it runs exactly where I said it was, smack in the middle of Slovenia and it includes Trieste. Say that to your Slovenian friends.

  18. ross says:

    the essence of a nation/cultural collective is to distance themselves from their neighbours in the first place though, identify comes from within but is constructed in an almost dialectical antagonism with ‘the other’ – any other way and they would render their own (collective) existence redundant

    as to highly selective reading of history i agree, it’s the single most powerful weapon to any nationalist, a reconfiguration/reconstruction of the past to suit the needs of the present (with those needs usually being that of a political elite with diametrically opposed interests to that of the rest of their nation)

    not too sure about the fact that just because slovenia emerged from the austro-hungarian empire then it means it’s part of the balkans, does that make austria, hungary, czech, galicia etc.. part of the balkans (or does their nationalisms not count?), does it mean serbia, bulgaria etc,. aren’t part of the balkans?

    likewise just because two countries were once part of the same empire does this make them the same now? does this mean that serbia & modern day turkey should be viewed as the same because they rubbed shoulders in the ottoman empire for 400 odd years, or bosnia & turkey who done the same but also share the same religion, or serbia and bulgaria who done the same but also share the same religion, roughly the same language and a border

    likewise just because a clump of now soverign states were part of yugoslavia does this mean they are all defacto balkanian? yugoslavia only existed for little less than 5 decades (or 7 if you count it’s previous incarnation), and despite the best efforts of tito it never did, and never had the capacity, to gell as one unified bloc (and even any roots of that happening was based around, and on, a personal affinity with tito so when he expires so did those roots),

    even slovenia’s time as a republic within yugoslavia was characterised by its differences with the other republics (in terms of economics, politics, cultural & social outlooks etc.) more so than their similarities – the strikingly different ways in which slovenia & croatia exited federal yugoslavia and their paths since also says more about their differences than their similarities (obviously helped along by the solidly homogenous ethnic make up of slovenia in contrast to croatia’s, but again this represents markedly different historical material factors/conditions which shaped the identities/outlook of both nations over time)

    re the map/border that line just follows the routes of the main balkan rivers does it not, i can’t deny geography, but not sure what it adds in terms of the discussion we’re having which is about people not geography

  19. Max says:

    Ross, the border that I had initially described came out of my personal experience of those places and I’m really amazed that it coincides to perfectly with the geographic orthodoxy.
    As I said, up in the mountains they may well be overwhelmingly Slovenians, down by the sea it’s really a different thing.

    I disagree with you on “the strikingly different ways in which slovenia & croatia exited federal yugoslavia”, I’m sorry Ross, I think that the one strikingly different factor is that unlike Slovenia, Craotia borders directly with Serbia.
    There was no friendly agreement between Slovenia and the rest of Yugoslavia in the Slovenian independence.
    I can actually remember the Slovenian indipendence very well because there were tanks and mortars doing their stuff just outside Trieste. It was war even if it lasted only a few days.
    I remember watching President Kucan declaring independence on Slovenian television and thinking “wow, he’s got balls, what happens next?”.
    It was a unilateral declaration of independence and much of the Yugoslavian army stationed in the Slovenian barracks couldn’t come out and fight only because there were snipers waiting for them, that’s why it didn’t last long, also there were troubles brewing in Croatia and the Yugoslavian army couldn’t be stretched so they had to accept that the best thing for them was to leave Slovenia.
    There wasn’t any big Serbian community in Slovenia, hence no sign of confrontation along ethnic lines, but that doesn’t mean that in Slovenia they were all Slovenians, there are quite a lot of Croatians and a lot of Italian nationals too inside Slovenia, all groups that fortunately had no reason for conflict with Slovenians.

    You ask if Hungary and others shouldn’t be considered part of the Balkans because of the fact that they were also part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire.
    Well, you’d be denying geography by including them but surely they have a lot in common, the Balkans are one reference, the River Danube is another one and it touches Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest and Belgrade creating an interconnection between the two areas.
    One of my favourite books is The Good Soldier Švejk, I can’t recommend it strongly enough, it gives you a history of the end of the Empire as viewed from the bottom of society, there are many clues about your questions in it.

  20. ross says:

    max are you seriously saying that the experiences & trajectory of slovenia and croatia since early 1991 are not that different? come on, border or not, the homogenity of slovenia compared with croatia counts for a lot more than you give it credit for, the yugoslav federal army didn’t have the same excuse with slovenia that it had with croatia for its intervention (i.e. the protection of national minorities in breakaway states), it put up a few days long border scuffle that unfortunately killed a few soldiers and had a helicopter shot down and after that that was it, not that much more than a decade after and slovenia’s in the EU and has the euro as its currency – compare that with croatia, protracted wars both within it’s own boundries and involvement next door with bosnia, mass (american backed) ethnic cleansing of the krajina/knin, the flourishing of russian style gangster capitalism during the war, ongoing protection of it’s own war criminals gotivna etc…but you don’t see any of this as strikingly different?!

    as to no friendly agreement between slovenia & the rest of yugoslavia then yes that’s technically true, however there was very much an agreement and identity of interest between slovenia & serbia at the time, so much so it was serbian’s lack of support for the JNA’s intervention in slovenia that meant the 10 day war didn’t continue (that’s the reason it didn’t last long, not because it didn’t have the military might as you suggest above), and by the time the JNA had withdrew and entered croatia it had metamarophised from a federal yugoslav army to a serb republic army, and there was no such identity of interest at play in that war, hence the markedly different outcome

    i’ve always meant to get round to reading the good soldier but never got round to it

  21. ross says:

    i just noticed this is meant to be about alcohol in lewisham!

  22. Max says:

    I’m not saying that “experiences and trajectories” weren’t different, I’m saying that the southern part of Slovenia is in the Balkans, it looks and it feels like. It has various ethnic groups living in it and culturally is different from the mountanous part of Slovenia.
    From Trieste, if you go up the hill, still in Italian territory you enter what’s ethnically homogeneous Slovenian territory, everyone is Slovenian, and that’s true all the way up to Hungary.
    If instead you cross Italian/Slovenian the border on the east of Trieste you enter an area that’s traditionally, but not exclusively, Italian speaking, plenty of walled villages with the symbol of the Venetian Republic on its entrance, and that goes on well into Croatia and from the coast goes on quite deep into the land too.
    When you say homogeneity that doesn’t apply to that area.

  23. ross says:

    “I’m not saying that “experiences and trajectories” weren’t different,”

    yes you were you said:-

    ‘I disagree with you on “the strikingly different ways in which slovenia & croatia exited federal yugoslavia [and their paths since]’

    but fair does on the rest of the stuff, i’ll bow to you greater experience of the area (and i’ve got stuff to do now so can’t argue anymore just for the sake of it)

  24. Max says:

    Ross, ok but where has that “[and their paths since]” come from?

    I pointed at the fact that they both exited through unilateral declaration of independence and then war and in this respect their exits were similar, your “strikingly similar” referred to the exit, not to the follow ups.

    Their “experiences and trajectories” were dissimilar as one war came up as relatively painless, the other was absolutely painful and I would be a fool to disagree on that.

  25. ross says:

    er no, my ‘strikingly different’ was in relation to the exit and the follow up – as per the quote below (read it back up a few posts if you don’t believe me)

    “the strikingly different ways in which slovenia & croatia exited federal yugoslavia and their paths since”

    i.e. the ways in which they exited federal yugoslavia (which were strikingly different) and their paths since (which are still strikingly different)

  26. Max says:

    Well, you want to bundle them up but I think I am still allowed to see the unilateral declaration of independence as one event (that by the way both Slovenia and Croatia declared on the same day) and the subsequent events as another.

    The two destinies parted immediately after independence but until then (the events leading to independence) the two countries had been partners in the breaking up of Yugoslavia or, if you want, the breaking away from Serbia.

    But I agree with you that this was what happened at governments level only, where institutions were involved (governments, federal and territorial armies) the paths were similar and that in addition to this a civil war fomented by Serbian and Croatian nationalism sparkled and militias of gangsters dressed up as patriots sprung up from nowhere and this just didn’t happen in Slovenia.

    Let me add one consideration to your view of the short war in Slovenia. When the Yugoslavian army decided to leave Slovenia without further fight they were going through a process of dissolution too. In parallel with the Country the army was unfolding rapidly and Slovenian and Croatian conscripts were going awol in numbers.

    Had the Yugoslavian army decided to fight the Slovenian territorial army they would have run a real risk of seeing the Slovenian and Croatian conscripts going all awol and be left with a half empty shell of an army scattered about enemy land.
    As you rightly say the real war started when clear Serbian and Croatian camps were defined and all non-serbs had left the Yugoslavian Army. At the time of the Slovenian secession that had not happened yet and once the parts were defined Slovenia was in a safe position with a buffer state in between them and the Serbians.

    You may want to say that Slovenians and Serbians had a shared interest in seeing the Federal army leaving and you would be right but surely if an hostile army wants to leave you’re not going to tell them to stay because they may engage in war in another place.

  27. ross says:

    ok you can untangle and say the events that happened on one day in relation to slovenia & croatia’s indepdenence were similar, in which i’d agree with you, however the point of raising the independence process, i.e. events before after and during – was to highlight how different the two entities were and are (and even then just because they declared independence on the same day the preparations & readiness that slovenia had demonstrated in terms of implementation of independence, both legally and structurally, left croatia in the dark and further demonstrates the difference between the two former republics)

    you say their destinies parted only after independence but that again is missing the point, do you not ever stop to wonder why their destinies were so markedly different from june 25 onwards? a large part in this has to be the fact that they were markedly different (political, economic, social, cultural, demographical) throughout their complete existence as yugoslav republics – or are you saying that somehow in the space of one day slovenia suddenly was suddenly enshrined with a number of factors which allowed it to take the course that it did? just because they were partners in breaking up doesn’t say anything about the similarities of the two entities, more just like an accident of history/geography (although i’d say that slovenia and serbia were more partners in the break up of yugo than slovenia & croatia) sure it was useful for both to lump together at that time but nothing much practical came of it, e.g. a mutual military assistance pact signed between croatia & slovenia was torn up by tudjman on june 25, and instead croat territorial army stepped back and allowed the JNA to cross their territory on route to slovenia

    re this:-

    ” When the Yugoslavian army decided to leave Slovenia without further fight they were going through a process of dissolution too. In parallel with the Country the army was unfolding rapidly and Slovenian and Croatian conscripts were going awol in numbers”

    i’d already said that above when i talked about the JNA (yugoslav federal army) metamorphising from a federal yugoslav army to a serbian republic army, that was part of my comment on one of the ways the outcomes were so different

    i agree about the risk of the jna losing it’s constituents, but to be fair since the metamorphised JNA (i.e. now serb republic army) inherited most of the artiliary & heavy machinery and had the foot soldiers around other parts of ‘greater serbia’ i still don’t think they would have been that troubled by what they would have faced in slovenia, but regardless of military ability or might, there was no interest in staying, the incursion by the JNA in the first place was the last gasp dying effort of a still federal JNA to keep yugoslavia whole, but literally days later by the time they’d left, there was only one game in town, the project of a greater serbia – slovenia played no part in achieving that so it was cut loose

    i don’t really understand your last paragraph max – at the time i’d say it was more correct to say that the federal (hostile) army wanted to stay, but found it didn’t have a mandate from the republics, then its disintegration & rebirth as a serb republic army meant that there was no strategic reason for it to stay because the objectives of the army now (greater serbia) were different to what the objective of the federal army was (keeping yugoslavia whole)

  28. Max says:

    Ross, I think that we’re reaching an agreement here.
    Croatia and Slovenia are two separate countries, they always were and to go back to the original issue (not the drinking, the geography) it is true that Slovenia is indeed a Central European country on its mountanous side as the map of the Balkans clearly and correctly marks. Ljubljana is indeed a Central European capital and by the way a great place to be, the south side of Slovenia is instead in the Balkanis, just like Croatia.
    It is also quite possible that Slovenians had a better prepared political class in charge at that moment, Milan Kucan always looked to me like a nice man, General Tujiman instead was indeed a nasty piece of work.
    I suggest we drop all military analysis here, I think we clarified the situation in detail enough.

  29. ross says:

    fair does (although there was very little military analysis there max, it was the politics of the situation that decided the military outcomes and it was that which i was analysing)

    but i agree, i think we’ve done this one to death

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