The Strangford Assembly Member said: “These statistics show an alarming increase in the number of patients that are under the influence of high levels of alcohol.
“These figures indicate that unless people’s attitude toward alcohol changes, Northern Ireland is facing massive health problems in future.
“Alcohol should be enjoyed in responsible manner to ensure that health problem for people in later life are averted.
“Another disturbing issue which can be deduced from these statistics is that hospital staff are having to deal with a large number of patients that are intoxicated. This can potentially put the safety of hospital staff at risk. We have seen too many attacks on healthcare staff in recent times and this is an issue which must be addressed as a matter of urgency.”