Alcohol Treatment Services – report by House of Commons Committee

27 June, 2023

New report from the House of Commons finds that 82% of the 600,000 dependent drinkers in England are not in treatment

The new ‘Alcohol Treatment Services’ report from the House of Commons discusses alcohol harm and its impact, with recommendations for the government to tackle the issue. Included are some shocking statistics.

Despite the rise in alcohol related deaths over the past 20 years, the number of people receiving treatment for alcohol dependency has generally been falling, with 82% of the 600,000 dependent drinkers in England not in treatment. This is despite success rates of 60% and the £21 billion cost for the NHS and wider society from alcohol harm.

The report is split into two sections covering alcohol harm, which includes:

  • Tackling alcohol harm
  • Understanding the cost of harm

As well as treatment services, which includes:

  • The impacts of funding uncertainty on commissioning alcohol treatment services
  • Accessing treatment services
  • Local variations in spending, unmet need, and treatment outcomes
  • Treatment workforce

Recommendations from the report include:

  • In the absence of a formal strategy, the Department for Health and Social Care (the Department) should set out how it will tackle the significant costs to the NHS and society of alcohol harm, with targets and performance measures.
  • To improve certainty around funding for drug and alcohol treatment services, the Department should: commit to an earlier date by which it will confirm allocations of the Public Health Grant for 2024–25 and subsequent financial years.
  • The Department should set out: how it is working with local authorities to address the barriers to people with alcohol dependency from getting the treatment they need.

To read the full report, please go to the UK Parliament website.

If you need any additional advice and guidance regarding alcohol dependency and its treatment, please speak to your visiting pharmacist. If you are not currently an Ashtons client, please contact us for assistance.