Alcohol abuse in the UK costs the NHS £ 3.8 billion per year.
That’s £ 145 for every household.
1 in 3 of all A&E admissions are alcohol related. This rises to 70% on Friday and Saturday nights.
Emergency apartments spread around the country spend billions of pounds dealing with the effects of drink and drugs.
There is a small clinic in Manchester that has an idea of something could save the NHS money and ultimately save lives.
Stories of People Suffering from Alcohol abuse
I’ve been clean for 2 or 3 months, but once you have that first drink, it just sucks you back in. It’s the alcohol that controls you, and it’s hard to escape it.
Ended up passing out in the local park where they found me, and I was taken home by the police and then I ended up coming through a A&E. Probably about the third fourth time that I’d been through A&E.
The person with alcohol dependency had been drinking up to 30 pints a day. He was brought to the treatment by his family.
This is his story:
When I was 15 I drank socially and over the past few years it’s gradually got to the point where I became dependent so I couldn’t go to work anymore. I needed a drink throughout a day.
It’s scary to start a treatment. Well to be honest, I’m still terrified because I’ve not been here. I’ve ditched my first admission before so I’ve never done it before and so.. It’s like I’ve got to go on to further and do a lot of more further work after this and it’s kind of scary. I’ve reached the end of the line. I’ve been given that many chances now, but I think when I was in hospital last week, I think they were the doctor's exact words: "Now you’ve come to the end of the line, but there’ no point just giving in without a fight."
Doctors say that when you have got sufficient motivation, you can get up when it had been so much easier just to lie in bed but you can get up and you can save yourself.
Some people are lucky to still have families that care about them. Therefore, family member bring people with alcoholism for treatment. Others go to the treatment straight from 11 A&E departments across Manchester. Instead of getting patched up and sent back home they arrive on the radar wing for a whole week.
Significant proportion, maybe as much as 50% of the patients had never been seen by alcohol services before. Certain individuals will be presenting to A&E and getting admitted to the hospital on very frequent basis. And one of the common reasons why people may be attending so frequently is alcohol. So someone like radar is an avenue where individual can start to address that underlying problem.
9% of men and 4% of women in the UK show signs of alcohol dependence
A story of another man suffering alcoholism: "When I was in Germany the drink was so cheap it was untrue You could get a bottle of vodka for 5-6 pounds at a time. People just drank and drank. Some people managed it, but a lot people ended up just like me. I drank a little of vodka a day. I came to the treatment after falling and breaking my back in four places. The seizures can affect me on a daily basis. I could be out in the street, I could have been in a restaurant, not drinking, totally sober. Once I had 3 seizures on a day at my family’s house. I bashed my face in on the door frame, I ended up in hospital. "
Ignoring patients with alcoholism simply costs NHS more in the long run.
There are people who think why are we as a society spending money for people to come in effectively to residential detox on the taxpayer while we could be spending that money on the neonatal baby units, on cancer treatment etc. While there are attitudes like that, we personally see that the circumstances that have led to alcohol abuse could affect anybody like that. The sorts of lifestyle and choices that people have made are not necessarily just by choice. Many of the patients have additionally mental health problem, chronic pain problem. So to just say anybody who drinks it’s just their fault, we think is wrong.
Borrowed from Inside NHS detox centre by Victoria Derbyshire.