UK alcohol deaths at new high
The Independent stated earlier this year that the alcohol deaths in England are at a record high after a huge 6% rise from the year before, according to NHS data.
The number of people in England who died in 2018 because of alcohol was at its highest level since records began. In 2017 there were 5,483 deaths where alcohol was the primary cause – and liver disease accounting for 80 per cent of those deaths, the NHS reports.
There is rise of more than 6 per cent of admissions from the year before, which is an increase of 17 per cent in a decade and always predominantly men – an average of 65 per cent of alcohol related hospital admissions are male.
But while the numbers drinking to unsafe levels have dropped – with just 21 per cent drinking more than the recommended 14 units a week – those over 40 are drinking more and account for 80 per cent of deaths.
Health cuts leads to fewer treatments
Alcohol is more affordable than ever, and numbers being treated for alcohol problems fell to 76,000 in 2017-18, down 6 per cent on the previous year – as successive cuts to public health funding have made access harder.
The NHS state that there is one alcohol-related hospital admission every 30 seconds in the UK, and because of this has expressed that there needs to be an end to treatment cuts and curbs on affordability.
While harmful drinking has decreased overall, this varies greatly depending on age and economic factors. Well-off households are twice as likely to be drinking over the recommended 14 units a week as those on the lower end of the income scale – 27 per cent compared with 15 per cent.
However, alcohol-related deaths were disproportionately higher among those in the most deprived areas.
Dr Richard Piper, chief executive of Alcohol Change UK, said: “In 2017, 78% of deaths due to alcohol were amongst those between 40 and 69 years of age. This suggests that the heavier drinking among older people is starting to take a toll”.
If you are concerned your drinking or the level of drinking by a loved one, contact our counsellors at The Providence Projects. We will help determine if you have any symptoms of alcoholism and can recommend a suitable treatment at our alcohol rehab.
Joanne Allen reviewed Providence Projects
3 March 2016
Well where do I start… An amazing place that has given me the foundations to start my new life… This place has saved my life! The therapists are wonderful and the program superb! I have met true and honest friends who are my friends for life. My perception of life has completely changed and I owe that to the Provi. If you are looking for a rehab where the people really show an understanding, empathy and compassion this is the place. If your want to be able to go about… your day with reality and honesty look no further. Just for today I will enjoy t... See more
Gambling addicts a health concern
Alcoholic and drugs addicts are discussed more frequently in the media, yet record numbers of gambling addicts were hospitalised in the NHS in 2017 and 2018. Data released by the NHS in 2018 revealed that more than 100 people in the UK were admitted; as their ‘pathological’ gambling addiction was so severe that they needed hospital treatment. The Telegraph, October 2018
In 2000, the World Health Organisation (WHO) first recognised gambling disorders as a medical condition. The data collated showed that gambling disorders occur in conjunction with severe and enduring mental illness such as severe depression, anxiety, and even psychosis.
Such is the severity of gambling, and because of the consequences, which rely heavily on the NHS; any alternative help is welcomed for addicts.
A digital opportunity
In April 2018, Gamstop was launched. It is a platform to allow addicts to ban themselves (or for others to ban for them) from online betting platforms. More than 50,000 people signed up.
However, after an investigation later in the year, it was discovered that people were able to cheat the system. A BBC investigation found that a gambler who had self-referred could still place bets online by simply changing their user details.
GamStop’s Fiona Palmer said she was ‘deeply concerned’ and admitted that the service was not working well enough, while The Gambling Commission said it was looking to bring in tougher ID checks.
The Gambling Commission, which regulates the industry, has said it will soon announce the results of a consultation on using ID verification, which would prevent customers gambling using incorrect details on online gambling sites.
What is GamStop?
GamStop is a free, independent self-exclusion scheme for people with online gambling problems.
Gamblers register their details and choose how long they want to be banned for. They should then not be able to logon to gambling websites.
So is it a successful way to help recovering gambling addicts?
The Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) said it was “disappointed” with the findings.
However, the trade association added that it was encouraged by the results of a survey of genuine participants of the scheme.
To even the keel more, a positive independent survey carried out by charity Gambleaware.org stated that: ‘83% said that it had been effective in reducing or stopping their gambling activity and 71% said they have not attempted to use their nominated betting shops since signing up’.
The Senet Group, which uses funding from bookmakers to run the scheme, said ‘the results of this investigation are disappointing’ but insisted that the MOSES (Multi-Operator Self Exclusion Scheme) is an ‘important first step for people who genuinely want to reduce their gambling’.
Shocking drug addiction figures in Scotland
In March this year, The Mirror stated that Scotland’s failure to tackle problem drug use has come under fire; after it emerged at least 55,000 people are battling addictions. Figures published at the end of February underlined the scale of the crisis with as many as 58,900 Scots hooked on illegal substances.
These figures were also very understated, as the official report did not include ‘recreational drug users’ and the study was limited to those between the ages of 15 and 64.
How does Scotland compare as a country?
Quite high – Scotland has the highest rate of drugs fatalities of any EU country. It was marked that there were 934 drug-related deaths in 2017, including three children under 14.
With no official figures taken, it was estimated that over 1,000 people died in Scotland during 2018 after using drugs.
Why is the drug problem so bad in Scotland?
The Conservative party issued a formal statement stating that the SNP’s (Scottish National Party) ‘soft-touch’ approach was only fuelling the fire and gaining abuse.
SNP ministers were criticized as they were backing plan to introduce a heroin ‘shooting gallery’ in Glasgow, where addicts could inject with their own drugs.
Lord Advocate James Wolffe, QC, then blocked these plans and also Prime Minister Theresa May then rejected calls to devolve the necessary powers.
A positive approach
A Scottish Government strategy published in November 2018 focused on reducing a certain ‘stigma’ towards addicts. It planned to divert some drug users away from the criminal justice system and into treatment.
Not all agreed with this strategy, as Scottish Tory public health spokeswoman Annie Wells stated: “Scotland is facing a drugs crisis and these figures prove it. There are tens of thousands of drug users with serious addictions and the SNP’s approach so far simply hasn’t been good enough.”
Bradley Hill recommends Providence Projects
5 December 2018
The Providence project was an amazing place and was a turning point in my life. I was a client for six months in 2011, successfully completing the primary and secondary stage. I had nearly no understanding of my illness or how to cope with life in life’s terms until I went there and with the support of all the staff, began to manage my feelings and emotions and gain coping mechanisms to live life clean and sober. Everything about the Provy is designed to give you the best therapeutic care possible, and at the core of this is all the staff, some of the most amazing peo... See more