Hmmmm it's not just the alcohol and drugs though. There's also those unlucky enough to be injured by drunks, drug addicts etc. There's the cost of security in A&E departments, the cost of attacks on staff etc. (and believe me it's not just weekend nights ) At the hospital I work in, A&E have security staff on duty most nights of the week. For some reason Tuesdays and Wednesdays seem to be the quieter of the weeks nights, but increasingly Mondays and Thursdays can be just as hectic as any weekend night.There are people that get seriously ill on nights out, overdosing (primarily) from mixing substances like E and booze. Some of these people could die if they don't get help, likewise alchol poisioning is a possibility.. you suggesting these people just die in the street for being irresponsible ? I don't think irresponsiblity should be punished with death, not when the persons paid for a service.
Yes I agree we don't want people dying on the street because they are drunk, drugged up to the eyeballs etc, What do you do when someone comes in absolutely drunk/ drugged up and has serious injuries which need an emergency operation? You can't just start administering pain relief/ anaesthetics, etc if you don't even know what mixture of drugs they've taken (and they're not always conscious/ capable enough to even tell you)
As for saying they've paid for NHS services, you can't seriously tell me the average 18 -25 yr old has paid enough into the system to even pay a fraction of the costs involved in their treatment? (and they don't get turned away)
Perhaps it's time for the NHS to start charging those who come to A&E suffering from an alcohol/ drug overdose? Send them a bill after treatment, in much the same way RTA patients are charged? (don't tell me you didn't know that patients involved in RTA's are charged for the cost of their treatment? )