Posted by Perry Clayman
Data released in 2019 by NHS digital revealed that nearly 6,000 people in England died from alcohol in 2017. This information is of extreme importance considering that nearly 60% of all local drug and alcohol services have had their budgets slashed in recent years, with further cuts predicted.
NHS Digital has also released the following alarming alcohol statistics for England 2017:
● 21% of all adults aged 16+ drank more than 14 units (the recommended safe drinking limit) of alcohol a week.
● In 2017/2018 England had 337,870 hospital admissions that were primarily due to alcohol. This is a 15% increase from ten years ago.
● In 2017 there were 5843 alcohol-specific deaths, a 6% increase on the previous year and 16% higher than the number of alcohol deaths recorded ten years ago.
The huge cuts to addiction treatment services are placing additional strain on both the NHS and law enforcement services. The NHS, in particular, are feeling the consequences of the financial pinch. NHS Statistics have reported a substantial 13% increase in alcohol-related A&E admissions over the past decade.
This proves that the government cutbacks are not only a false economy but that they are also costing lives.
Some councils have reportedly axed as much as a third of the money set aside for helping those with addiction. Birmingham is reported to have taken the largest ‘hit’ after suffering an approximate £4 million cut back.
The UK Currently Face Addiction Crisis – Experts Say
Experts are concerned that the UK is currently facing an addiction crisis as substance misuse deaths continue to rise with lower levels of treatment engagement. Lower levels of treatment engagement do not mean that there are less alcohol dependent and drug-addicted individuals in need of help, in fact, quite the opposite.
In England, there are an estimated 589,101 alcohol-dependent drinkers. Less than 20% are receiving treatment.
Local drug and alcohol teams provide an essential service for those who cannot afford private addiction treatment or alcohol rehab, but due to being underfunded the quality of treatment they are able to deliver has suffered. They also do not have the staffing capacity to offer effective drug and alcohol treatment to those that need it most.
According to statistics almost 500,00 brits are alcohol dependent and not currently receiving any treatment. Is it any wonder there is such a high number of alcohol-specific deaths?
Alcoholism and drug addiction are life-threatening illnesses that require professional and intensive treatment in order to overcome. Furthermore, there is no quick fix in treating addiction. Ongoing support is required, more often than not for a substantial period of time.
The government have statistics on alcohol-specific deaths yet are continuing to cut back on addiction treatment budgets.
Drug Deaths Overtake Road Traffic Deaths
It’s not just alcoholics that are suffering as a result of the government cutbacks. In 2017 there were 3,756 deaths attributed to drug poisoning in England and Wales.
According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), you are far more likely to die from taking drugs than you are from a road traffic accident.
Considering the tremendous increase in road traffic over the years, this puts into perspective just how dangerous drug taking is, and how many lives it is claiming.
Alcohol the Biggest Risk Factor For Death
Alcohol Change organisation reports that alcohol is the biggest risk factor for death, ill-health and disability among 15-49-year-olds. The government have slowly increased the cost of alcohol by 33% over the past decade, yet it still remains 64% more affordable than it was in 1980.
PCP feels that the government’s current alcohol strategy is failing miserably and that the alcohol-specific and alcohol-related death statistics over the past ten years evidence this.
With alcoholism, it is important to professionally treat the underlying causes that contribute to an individual’s drinking. Without professional rehabilitation most alcoholics relapse, the same applies to drug addiction.
So much more is needed than what the government are currently able to offer, which is lengthily waiting lists for alcohol rehab and key work sessions provided by drug and alcohol workers who are overstretched.
Unless substantial funding is put into professional counselling and rehabilitation for addicts and alcoholics, the current climate is unlikely to change and will only get progressively worse.
Affordable Rehab for Alcoholics
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If you need intensive treatment for an alcohol problem, we can help. We have helped thousands of alcoholics to get and stay sober over the years. Call us today for more information on our alcohol treatment programmes.
ONS – Office for National Statistics UK