Public Health England (PHE) have released annual alcohol treatment figures in England for 2013-2014. PHE say the 'treatment system is working well' with total numbers, recovery rates and waiting times all improving.
Headline findings include:
- 114,920 adults (18 and over) received alcohol treatment in 2013-14, up 5% from 109,683 the year before
- 80,929 adults started treatment during the year, up from 75,773 in 2012-13
- 93% of people waited less than three weeks to start treatment, up from 89% in 2012-13
- 43,530 people successfully completed their treatment, up from 40,908 in 2012-13
Other key findings include:
- A further 34,237 clients in adult treatment cited alcohol misuse as an adjunctive problem to a range of other primary problematic substances
- Clients’ median age starting treatment was 43, and 64% of clients in treatment were male
- Most clients were white British (87%) with no other ethnic group accounted for more than 3% of clients in treatment with a primary substance of alcohol
- 42% of clients starting treatment were self-referrals and 17% were referrals from GP’s. Onward referrals from other substance services accounted for 7%. Referrals from the criminal justice system accounted for 7%
- Where reported, 4% of clients had an urgent housing problem (NFA) on presenting to treatment; a further 10% had other housing problems
Whilst numbers in alcohol treatment have been on a small upward trend since the first national report in 2010, the total number represents less 10% of those with some level of alcohol dependency (depending on population estimate). However most drinkers who develop some level of dependency will not access treatment and will recover without any formal help. However in 2010 Alcohol Concern highlighted the significant gap between investment in drug versus alcohol treatment, and more recently warned of the impact of the commissioning changes on local services.
The figures are taken from the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS). See recent years alcohol treatment statistics here or the first national treatment statistics report 2008-09, which recorded 100,098 in treatment.
PHE, who have assumed responsibility for alcohol treatment from the former National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA), last year released updated JSNA guidance to support drug and alcohol treatment delivery. Comprehensive NICE alcohol guidance is also available including Public Health Guidance for local authorities.