Monday, 10 February 2014
For the second time in a week Northern Ireland hit the headlines for the wrong reasons. The Ross Kemp Extreme World documentary highlighted a minority element within Northern Ireland bent on holding everyone else back. The Hardwell incident painted a picture of a city with serious youth drink and drug problems. Unfortunately neither have been fabricated, however the later seems to be have been blown out of all proportion.
It's important to note that 10,000 Hardwell tickets were sold, admitting persons aged 16 or older. Of those; 108 needed treatment of some kind, 17 went on to be admitted to hospital and none of those admitted were deemed to be in a serious condition, according to the Belfast Telegraph. When you consider 17 is 0.17% of total attendance in and outside the Odyssey, it's not a lot. 17 people out of 10,000 is a number to be expected considering the drinking culture we live in, it's in no way a surprising figure.
To put the 0.17% figure in perspective, in 2011/12 there were an estimated 1.2 million alcohol related hospital admissions across the UK, 1.875% of the population. Even assuming some people will be admitted multiple times, 1.875% is still significantly higher than the 0.17% rate following Hardwell. The London Ambulance service deals with an average of 197 999 calls relating to alcohol everyday, 71,905 per year. At peak one in every five 999 calls are alcohol related. The London Ambulance figures are based on information given at the time the 999 call is received, or where alcohol is recorded by frontline staff as being the main reason for treatment. The figures don’t even take into account other incidents such as assaults, minor falls and other injuries that may have happened because someone had been drinking. Hardwell just put large numbers of people consuming alcohol in one location, the rate of hospitalisation was nothing special when compared to the rest of the UK.
Laverys in Belfast can hold 1700 people at capacity, if the average age was around 18 would you be surprised to see 2 or 3 people needing to go to hospital (none serious) factoring in underage drinking?
The Northern Ireland nightlife could suffer as a result of something relatively average when compared to cities across the UK.