612 people in the East Midlands lost their lives to alcohol in 2020.
Addiction treatment charity UKAT analysed the statistics and found that these statistics had a 17% rise on the number from 2019.
Alcohol deaths had been slowly rising since budgets for alcohol and drug treatment centres were cut by 18% in 2013-14, and further cut in 2018-19. The government announced in January it will include £80m for treatment centres. But this won’t fill the gap of £322m cut over the past eight years.
Nuno Albuquerque, Group Treatment Leader at UKAT
Nuno Albuquerque, Group Treatment Leader for UKAT, said: “The majority of the people that come to us are private. People have the money, or people are being pushed to go into private healthcare. It seems like the possibility of statutory welfare is diluted somewhere.”
Alcohol related deaths are categorised by alcoholic liver disease, alcohol poisoning, alcohol induce acute pancreatitis, and nervous system damage – among others.
In Lincolnshire, it was revealed by a freedom of information request in 2019 that funding was at £7m in 2013/14 financial year. Yet, in 2019/20 just £1m of the £5m budget was spent on treatment centres.
In order for addiction to be properly treated, Dr Albuquerque said: “From the time that [funding] protection has been removed, councils can spend that money on any healthcare issue they prioritise. We are saying go back to that protection and there needs to be more money.”
The budget in Lincolnshire has stayed the same for the 2020/21 financial year as the previous year. There is no indication that funding for this treatment will rise as the health sector moves out of the pandemic.
For more information on receiving addiction treatment go to https://www.ukat.co.uk/