User:BecmajecUOW/Report: alcohol and drug dependency up in UK

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Monday, September 2, 2013

A new report from think-tank The Centre for Social Justice, released September 1, has found that the United Kingdom has the highest rates of alcohol and opiate dependency in Europe.

The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) found the increased rates of dependency on addictive substances is costing UK taxpayers £36 billion a year.


Image: RayNata.

The report found that one in 12 young people in the UK had tried club drugs like Salvia and Green Rolex, which are marketed as bath salts and research chemicals, among other incarnations. As long as these substances are labeled ‘not for human consumption' they can be legally sold over the counter, providing a 'legal high'.

The UK has the second highest rate of alcohol dependency among men in Western Europe, and the most female alcoholics in all of Europe. Alcohol related hospital admissions in the UK have doubled over the last decade.

"Alcohol is taking an increasing toll across all services in the UK and new emerging drugs are causing more harm - all the while funding to rehabilitation centres is being dramatically cut and methadone prescribing is being protected," said Noreen Oliver, chairwoman of the CSJ review.

Doctors see rehabilitation as the reliable method of weaning heroin addicts of the drug. Due to low funding addicts are usually prescribed methadone to stabilise their drug use instead of receiving adequate treatment.

According to the No Quick Fix report, users can become dependent on methadone, with more than 40 000 heroin addicts found to be stuck on the substitute.

Alcohol, drug and legal high related injuries and deaths have increased in the UK. Higher addiction rates place pressure on health services and drive users into poverty.

CSG director Christian Guy said, “While our addiction problem damages the economy, it is the human consequences that represent the real tragedy.”



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