Hospital admissions specifically related to alcohol have more than doubled in England since 1995, according to an NHS Information Centre report.

And the number of prescription items dispensed in primary care to treat alcohol dependency has increased by 20 per cent in the last four years.

Statistics on Alcohol: England, 2008shows alcohol was either the primary or secondary cause of 207,800 NHS admissions in 2006-07, compared with 93,500 in 1995-96.

A total of 112,300 items were prescribed in primary care to treat alcohol dependency in 2007, compared with 93,200 in 2003.

Information Centre chief executive Tim Straughan said: "This report shows alcohol is placing an increasing burden right across the NHS - from the GP surgery to the hospital bed. These rises paint a worrying picture about the relationship between the population and the bottle."

The report also shows that in 2006-07 there were 57,100 admissions with a primary diagnosis specifically related to alcohol, such as alcoholic liver disease, a 52 per cent rise since 1995-96. Of these admissions, 4,900 (9 per cent) involved patients under 18.

There were 6,500 alcohol-related deaths in 2006, of which two-thirds were men. This is a 19 per cent rise in the number of alcohol-related deaths compared with 2001, when there were 5,500 deaths.

The report, which brings together information on alcohol-related behaviour, illness and spending, also includes survey results from school pupils aged 11-15 and adults in England.

The number of pupils who said they had never had an alcoholic drink increased from 39 per cent in 2001 to 45 per cent in 2006.

But those who admitted drinking consumed 11.4 units per week on average - the highest amount ever recorded by the survey.

In 2006, 72 per cent of men and 57 per cent of women reported drinking an alcoholic drink on at least one day in the week before interview. Twelve per cent of men and 7 per cent of women reported drinking on every day in the previous week.

A full copy of the report is available at www.ic.nhs.uk