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Updated on August 1, 2022
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UK Addiction Treatment Resources

Drug and Alcohol Resources in the UK

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Alcohol Use in the UK

In 2017, 21 percent of the population aged 16 and over drank over 14 units of alcohol each week, putting them at “harmful levels” of alcohol consumption.

Drinkaware, an independent charity working to reduce alcohol misuse and harm in the UK
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Alcohol Use in the UK Statistics

  • In 2016 there were 9,214 alcohol-related deaths in the UK (approximately 15 per 100,000 people)
  • In England from 2018 to 2019, 1.26 million hospital admissions were related to alcohol consumption
  • In England from 2018 to 2019 in England, 75,555 people were in treatment at specialist alcohol misuse services. This was a decrease of 18 percent over the last five years
  • From 2015 to 2016 in England, 39 percent of victims of violent crimes believed the offender(s) to be under the influence of alcohol.

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Alcohol Treatment in the UK

Public Health England estimates that under 20 percent of people with alcohol dependency are receiving treatment. The NHS does offer free services. However, many treatment programs have seen budget cuts and a decrease in resources recently but the success rate seems unchanged. 

The NHS states that you should consult your general practitioner for problems with alcohol. They will provide confidential advice and references if you need extra support.

Drug Use in the UK

Approximately 1 in 10 UK adults reports using an illicit drug in the last year. This number has remained relatively consistent over the last 25 years. Adults aged 16 to 24 are twice as likely to have taken a drug in the last year as other age groups. Heroin is the most common primary substance used by individuals seeking treatment. 

Opioids, specifically heroin, have the most significant health and social effects on people who use illicit drugs in the UK.

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Drug Use in the UK Statistics (2018/2019)

  • 7,376 hospital admissions for drug-related disorders
    • 30 percent increase from 2008/2009 
  • 18,053 hospital admissions for poisoning from drug misuse
    • 16 percent increase from 2012/2013
  • 2,917 deaths due to drug poisoning
    • 46 percent higher than 2018

NHS Digital

Drug Treatment in the UK

The NHS provides treatment services for anyone with a drug problem. They recommend seeing your general practitioner to receive a diagnosis, care, and recommendations for drug addiction treatment.

You can use the NHS drug treatment services locator to find treatment centers in your area.

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Updated on August 1, 2022

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