The drug we ignore that kills thousands

After seeing the Anonymous film trailer and my expression of the need to address the problem we have in the UK Owen Jones wrote this fantastic piece in the Independent last week.

This all-too silent pandemic urgently needs to be addressed, and that means dealing with the lack of funding for dealing with alcohol compared with other drugs

Consider this fact, from Alcohol Concern, which underlines just how perverse our response to alcohol is compared with other drugs: while £1,313 is spent on treating every dependent drug user, just £136 is reserved for every dependent drinker. The trend is frightening indeed. Drug and alcohol treatment charity Addaction tell me that, two years ago, booze replaced heroin as the main substance-abuse problem they had to deal with. The number of people dying from alcohol-related liver disease has surged by nearly a fifth since 2002.

Alcohol abuse needs to be treated as the national disaster that it is. Banning alcohol advertising would be a good start. But those struggling with alcohol abuse need far more help: just 6 per cent of people struggling with alcohol dependency get access to treatment, compared with 23 per cent in Italy. This is indefensible, and not just from the perspective of basic humanity. As Alcohol Concern point out, every £1 spent on treatment saves £5 in cost. Unless there is change, thousands will continue to die, and billions will continue to be lost. What a waste.

To read the full article go here.

If only 6 per cent are getting access to treatment and that number is less than 110,000 (see yesterday’s blog post) then that means we have over 1.8 million people requiring treatment who are struggling with alcohol here in the UK.

And these are people with a physical dependency to alcohol.  It does not include those with a psychological dependency to alcohol, like myself, and many of us out here who are blogging and reading …….

Shocking and saddening at the same time and something needs to be done.

4 thoughts on “The drug we ignore that kills thousands

  1. I thought the piece by Owen was pretty good, but sadly some of the comments at the end, show the unhealthy attitudes to alcohol in the UK. I do hope that a variety of solutions are made available in the future, to help people recover, and these get the publicity they require to be effective.

Comments are closed.