The United Kingdom is going through a difficult time at the moment. The pound has dropped significantly and politically the nation is in disarray, with protests on those at the top both in parliament and on the streets.

The stress of paying the next bill is high, and that’s taking its toll on the everyday person in the country. And, unfortunately, that can often lead to alcohol and drugs to cope.

Currently, there’s a real addiction crisis around the world, and the climate in the UK at present isn’t going to change that. As any rehabilitation centre will tell you, more and more people are coming through their doors, but that could change if people can’t afford to live day-to-day, never mind putting themselves through the treatment.

A recent government report has released data on adult substance abuse treatment and there has been a small rise in the number of people receiving the treatment, which could be the beginning of a worrying trend.

Over a year between April 2020 and May 2021, a total of 275,896 adults used drug and alcohol services, up around 5,000 from the previous year.

Of those entering treatment centres, that was just under half of the total adults at around 130,500, a similar number to the previous year.

It is concerning that over half of the people seeking services were seeking treatment for opioid use, and since every report said opioid use has risen considerably in recent years, we could see a staggering rise from 2021 to 2022. That appears likely, particularly given the state of the nation at present. 

Alcohol was high amongst abusers too, with just under a third of people seeking services and help struggling with alcohol, a rise of 3% on the previous year and a clear sign of the impact of Covid on alcohol addiction. 

Much of these numbers are a result of Covid, and it had been hoped that a corner would be turned. However, with the economic crisis, mental health problems in the country are continuing to rise, as well as people suffering financially too. 

When reviewing the reasoning behind problems with substances, the picture does not look good. About 17% of people entering treatment during this period said they had housing problems, while almost two-thirds stated they had mental health problems. Those problems are not going away, and if anything is only going to get worse, that could see the addiction crisis in the UK  worsen.

All the signs are stating that’ll be the case and when the report comes out again next year, it may paint a very bleak picture of the last 12 months for many people. 

Photo by Mikael Blomkvist from Pexels

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