According to The Office For Health Improvement; there were 275,896 adults in contact with drug and alcohol services between April 2020 and March 2021. The number of adults entering treatment from 2020 to 2021 was 130,490. Addiction in the UK is not an issue isolated to individuals. Despite the common assumption being that addiction only affects the users themselves, the reality is that the effects of substance abuse affect entire communities.
Alcoholism In The UK
People in treatment for alcohol alone make up the second largest group (28%) of all adults in medical care. According to Alcohol Change in England, there are an estimated 602,391 dependent drinkers. Only 18% are receiving treatment. Alcohol has been described as ‘the UK’s favourite coping mechanism’, and many of us do drink to try and help manage stress, anxiety, depression or other mental health problems
Opioid Addiction In The UK
Over half (51%) of the adults in treatment (in 2021) were there for problems with opiates, and this remains the largest substance group. More than 20 different opioid medicines (opioids) are authorised for use in the treatment of pain in the UK. The strength of opioid differs between these medicines. Opioids relieve pain but may not remove pain altogether.
Considerable concern has been raised regarding prescribing rates of opioids in the UK and the awareness of healthcare professionals and patients of the risks of dependence and addiction.
Benzodiazepine Addiction In The UK
According to the UK Government people starting treatment with cannabis and benzodiazepine problems increased again in 2021, with a 5% increase in cannabis (from 25,944 in 2019 to 2020 to 27,304 this year) and a 6% increase in benzodiazepines (from 4,083 in 2019 to 2020 to 4,321 this year).
Amongst the most frequently prescribed medications on Earth, benzodiazepines are used to treat a broad range of disorders thanks to their sedative, hypnotic and muscle relaxant properties.They have caused widespread damage as a result of their habit-forming qualities and their associated side effects. Benzodiazepine addiction is a significant problem in the UK, as elsewhere.
Addiction Treatment In The UK
The UK has numerous options for alcohol and drug addiction treatment. In many cases, the NHS will help cover the costs of treatment. If your substance use is severe or complicated, you may be referred to a residential rehabilitation program. Most rehabilitation centres are not covered by NHS, but financial assistance may be available through your local addiction centre.