By Nicole Bode
DNAinfo Senior Editor
MANHATTAN — The city is teeming with binge drinking and alcohol-related injuries, and the number of visits to the emergency room as a result are skyrocketing, according to a new study released by the city’s Health Department.
The number of emergency room visits caused by alcohol increased more than 250 percent since 2003, rising from 22,000 in 2003 to 74,000 in 2009, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene found.
That included visits from some drinkers as young as 12 years old, the study found. In all, the number of underage drinkers taken to emergency rooms quadrupled from 1,000 in 2003 to 4,000 in 2009.
The neighborhoods with the largest proportion of alcohol-related emergency visits for drinkers of all ages include Lower Manhattan, Greenwich Village/SoHo, Gramercy Park/Murray Hill, and Chelsea/Clinton area.
"Excessive drinking can lead to injuries, violence, and fatal accidents in the short term, and heart disease, liver disease, cancer and other chronic conditions in the long term," Department of Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said in a statement. "Cutting down or quitting is possible. If you want help, talk to your doctor or call 311 and ask for Lifenet, a confidential, toll-free phone help line."