As we move into Alcohol Awareness Week it seems as though there has been a lot in the news over the last week or two about alcohol. Just some of the research and studies that have been printed this week include the following:
- There has been a sharp increase in the number of retired women seeking treatment for excessive alcohol use: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/11234459/Hidden-toll-of-drinking-among-retired-professional-women.html
- The introduction of alcohol abstinence orders as opposed to prison sentences: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/nov/17/tories-sobriety-bracelet-alcohol-crimes
- The link between alcohol and obesity and the need for calorie content labels: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-29821860
- The startling jump in the number of people dying from liver disease as a direct result of excess alcohol consumption: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-2799457/Drink-rise-linked-death-rates.html
These stories are just a few of many worrying trends relating to excess alcohol use. Alcohol misuse and the associated harms are forever rising without any investment in real solutions. The NHS are overwhelmed with alcohol related illnesses and A & E admissions. The teams within the hospitals are very skilled at treating the symptoms, although this is an expensive process. Treating the issue at it’s root is the solution and is not something that can be successfully achieved in an NHS hospital. Detox can be successfully administered in a hospital, although this is a very expensive process which currently has poor outcomes due to high relapse rates.
Residential rehabs are undoubtedly the most well equipped to treat excessive alcohol use. Funding for alcoholics to secure a place in rehab is almost impossible. While this is the case, and the funding is spent disproportionately on drug addiction, the problem will continue to spiral resulting in more alcohol related crime and violence as well as being a huge burden on the NHS. If one takes into account less obvious harms including deteriorating mental health, the welfare costs and the effect within a family, particularly on children, it is clear that the amount an severity of harm caused is enormous.
At The Providence Projects, the majority of our clients are privately funded and are seeking treatment for an alcohol problem. Our treatment is proven and the success rates are second to none but unfortunately, many of the calls we take are from families desperate for help and unable to afford any private options. The current system urgently needs addressing. Routes into rehab must be quicker and more clearly signposted. Rehabs must be used as the main source of information and knowledge due to their experience and success in this field; and a long term approach must be taken with regard to government spending. One successful treatment is incredibly cost effective when compared to hospital admissions, crime, broken families and general disorder.
If you, or a loved one are seeking help with an alcohol problem don’t know where to turn or who to call, please call us on 800 9550945 and speak to a counsellor who understands your situation.