Public Health England has revealed the number of adults living across the East Midlands classified as alcohol-dependent and in need of specialist treatment, as addiction treatment experts reveal a 13% closure rate of rehab facilities available to treat them.
The figures reveal that on average, a rate of 12 per thousand adults living here is dependent on alcohol.
The specific number of adults living across the East Midlands dependent on alcohol is reported at almost 50,000 in 2017/18, up from just over 47,000 back in 2010.
UKAT’s analysis of the report shows that the only council area to have seen a reduction in the number of people living with alcohol dependence in the last 7 years in Nottingham.
Alcohol addiction treatment experts at UKAT say Councils here are “lack-lustre” when it comes to prioritising treating people for alcohol addiction;
“Unfortunately, alcohol is just as harmful a drug than Heroin is, but a lot of people don’t or don’t want to see it that way,” says UKAT’s Group Treatment Lead, Nuno Albuquerque.
“Councils across the East Midlands assumed lead responsibility for alcohol service provision back in 2013, giving them full autonomy of how and where they spend their annual Public Health Grant, yet the numbers of people dependent on alcohol and in need of treatment is rising instead of falling. There is no excuse for this.
“Reports like these are produced to ensure that ignorance is not bliss; financial decision-makers are given locally relevant prevalence estimates in order to better understand the scale of need in their area. Clearly, councils here have their heads buried in the sand about alcohol dependence because the numbers speak for themselves; in seven years, things have only got worse.”
Earlier this year, UKAT lodged a Freedom of Information Request to see how many publicly-funded residential drug and alcohol rehab facilities had closed down since Councils took responsibility for the Public Health Grant back in 2013. Their results show that across the East Midlands, there were 8 rehabs available to treat people with alcohol dependence back in 2013, and now, only 7 remain active; a 13% closure rate to services people are in need of.
Nuno explains that “Patient care at these particular residential rehabs is in the main, funded by councils. If the councils decide to opt for other – more than likely, cheaper – types of care for their patients, like community day centres, then these facilities lack vital funding and over time, have ceased operation. Quite simply, greater investment in effective treatment facilities, accessibility and awareness will help lower the number of people in this community suffering from alcohol dependence.”
Alcohol dependence is a syndrome characterised by a strong and sometimes overpowering desire to drink, which may take priority over other previously valued activities.
The analysis of alcohol dependence prevalence is calculated using local hospital admission rates for alcohol dependence or withdrawal, local authority population data and results from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS).
If you’re affected by this story – information and support for alcohol dependency and local treatment options can be found at http://bit.ly/2NNUQpN