Community News

UKAT figures reveal more alcoholics than ever check into South East rehabs

Graham Robson September 13, 2020

More alcoholics than ever before have admitted themselves into rehabs across the South East during the four month peak of the Coronavirus crisis, figures from the UK Addiction Treatment Group (UKAT) have revealed.

The figures – discussed by ITV Meridian last week in an exclusive two-part feature into alcohol addiction during the Covid-crisis – show how, between April 1, 2020 and August 1, 2020, 86% of all admissions into UKAT’s South East rehabs were for alcohol addiction.

In comparison, during the same four months of 2019, 79% of all admissions were for alcohol addiction.

Between April 1, 2019 and August 1, 2019, UKAT’s three South East based rehabs – Primrose Lodge in Guildford, Recovery Lighthouse in Worthing and Banbury Lodge in Banbury – admitted 444 clients into treatment, of which 352 were for alcohol addiction (79%).

In the same four months this year, the same rehabs admitted fewer clients overall (327) yet the percentage of those admitted for alcohol rose to 86% (281 clients), demonstrating a shift in people’s relationship with alcohol during the Coronavirus crisis.

Nuno Albuquerque, UKAT’s Group Head of Treatment, said: ‘The Coronavirus crisis has affected people in different ways. For some, a way of coping with the pandemic would have been to turn to alcohol, or to drink more alcohol than they did previously in order to feel calm about the unfolding and devastating situation happening across the world.

‘But it’s important to remember that alcohol is a depressant and regular, heavy drinking interferes with chemicals in the brain that are key for good mental health. Feeling relaxed after a drink is short-lived, whereas over time, alcohol can have an impact on your mental health and can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety and worse still, it actually makes stressful situations like the Covid-crisis harder to deal with.’

It has been widely reported that more and more people living in the UK consumed more alcohol during the Covid-crisis than they did before.

Nuno continues: ‘The last few months have forced people into isolation and to contemplate what is important to them. For some, drinking heavily was a way of suppressing feelings of worry, loneliness and fear, but for others, it was a time to reflect and to ask themselves if continuing to drink was the right thing for them.

‘Thankfully, those people decided that enough was enough, and we’re seeing more and more people than ever before across the South East take that first brave step in investing in their health in order to protect their future, and asking for help with their alcohol addiction.’

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