Blog

Rise in prescriptions issued to treat alcohol dependency makes for alarming reading

Posted in: Alcohol by John Richmond on 29 July 2013
Tagged with: Alcohol

The 73% rise in prescriptions to treat alcohol dependency in England over the last decade makes alarming reading and highlights the fact that providing access to drugs without the necessary help that people need does not support effective recovery.

The figures provided by Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show that over 178,00 prescriptions were dispensed in 2012, compared to just under 168,000 in 20111 and fewer than 103,000 in 2003. The 2012 figure is the highest number ever recorded by the HSCIC and reflects a net ingredient cost of £2.93m, say Statistics on Alcohol: England 2013 and very much highlights the enormous impact and strain that alcohol misuse has on hospitals and society in England.

While the report looked at the number of prescriptions dispensed to treat dependency, the real issue as commented on by Emily Robinson, Alcohol Concern's director of campaigns, was the vast numbers of people who are not getting help for their alcohol addiction. The charity further estimates that just one in sixteen people with an alcohol problem receive specialist help, as there is just not enough treatment available, she said.

As someone working in recovery treatment I simply find this unacceptable and reinforces my belief that more of the right resources and help need to be provided, not less, if we are ever going to genuinely help people and their family beat the enormous harm caused through alcohol misuse and offer effective patient centred recovery focused treatment.

Statistics on alcohol: England, 2013 at www.hscic.gov.uk