Britain's Drinking Problem Costing Billions

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Binge drinking has reached crisis levels in Britain, as health experts say excessive alcohol abuse is costing the cash-strapped national health service almost $4.5 billion a year.

That includes the cost of hospital admissions due to drinking, like alcohol-fueled violence and more long-term issues like liver problems.

Liver disease has risen 25 percent in the last decade, causing a record number of deaths in the nation.

One liver specialist said doctors have been seeing more liver patients in "their late-20s to mid-30s."

The government has set up special services to cope with the problem, including special ambulances known as "booze buses."

Drunk patients are carried to discreet clinics, keeping them out of emergency rooms and helping to keep healthcare costs down.

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