Call Us
01502 587269

Addiction services not equipped to treat the 8 million people drinking at high risk during pandemic, warns Royal College

The College’s new analysis of Public Health England’s latest data on the indirect effects of Covid-19 found that over 8.4 million people are now drinking at higher risk, up from just 4.8 million in February.

Psychiatrists are calling for the Government to use the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review to reverse the cuts and enable local authorities to work towards investing £374 million into adult services so they can cope with the increased need for treatment.

Surge in Higher Risk Drinking During COVID Pandemic

This surge in higher risk drinking comes at a time when more people addicted to opiates are seeking help from addiction services. Statistics from the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS) show 3,459 new adult cases in April 2020 – up 20% from 2,947 in the same month last year – the highest numbers in April since 2015.

But the deep cuts made to addiction services since 2013/14 mean the estimated 8.4 million higher risk drinkers and the hundreds of additional people with an opiate addiction needing help could miss out on life-saving treatment.

Psychiatrists are calling for the Government to use the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review to reverse the cuts and enable local authorities to work towards investing £374 million into adult services so they can cope with the increased need for treatment.

  • New analysis finds nearly 8.5 million adults drinking at high risk, while number of people addicted to opiates seeking help in April at highest level since 2015
  • Years of cuts mean addiction services are ill-equipped to cope with post-pandemic surge
  • College calling for multi-million-pound funding package in upcoming spending review

The most recent data from Public Health England on the wider impacts of Covid-19 shows nearly 1 in 5 (19%) adults drinking at higher risk in June, up from 1 in 10 (10.8%) in February. The College calculates that when applied to the population of England some 8,410,045 people are now drinking at higher risk.

PHE defines higher risk drinking as those people scoring 8 or more on the AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test), a 10-question clinical questionnaire that assesses the amount of alcohol consumed and frequency, and levels of harm and dependence.

Take the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT):

Does My Daughter Have An Alcohol Problem?

Does My Son Have An Alcohol Problem?

Source: Royal College of Psychiatrists

https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/news-and-features/latest-news/detail/2020/09/14/addiction-services-not-equipped-to-treat-the-8-million-people-drinking-at-high-risk-during-pandemic-warns-royal-college

Call Us
01502 587269