Alcohol abuse increasing in San Francisco

The rate of alcoholism has increased in San Francisco since 2006, according to statistics released by the San Francisco Health Improvement Partnership, a public health group comprised of representatives from the city's public hospitals.

In the period of 2006 through 2008, there were 43.1 alcohol-related hospital visits per 10,000 residents. That rate increased to 60.9 hospital visits per 10,000 people for the time between 2009 and 2011. Non alcohol-related emergency room visits have decreased in the city over the same time. The majority of San Francisco residents who have sought out alcohol-related emergency room visits are men between the ages of 45 and 64.

According to the statistics, hospital emergency departments are not the only facilities dealing with this rise in alcohol abuse. As many as 7,500 individuals had also visited San Francisco's sobering center, a walk-in clinic where intoxicated individuals can sleep, have a meal and meet with a social worker, by the end of 2011. The center had a total of 26,000 visits from 2006 to 2011, many of which were the result of clients being transported there instead of the emergency room. Approximately 80 percent of the people sent to the sobering center are repeat clients and also have a history of homelessness.

City officials concluded that the drinking problem is not the result of more people abusing alcohol, but alcoholics drinking more aggressively.

Many alcoholics do not realize the extent of their problem. If you know someone like this, consider contacting Intervention Services. Our experienced and trained interventionists have effective methods to help someone battling alcohol dependency.

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