According to a report published November 25th titled “Adult substance misuse treatment statistics “, there has been a 27% rise in people dying while in treatment for drug and alcohol addiction from 2020 to 2021.
This was due to enforced restrictions resulting from what the government convinced many was a preventative measure to save lives in what they called a “Pandemic,” with many health services being adversely affected. The drug and alcohol treatment services were just one area that introduced changes to their interventions, such as face-to-face contact with service providers being restricted, under the guise that the measure would protect the staff. However, while protecting the staff, others were losing the desperately needed support from the interventions.
With figures, published by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, for England, National statistics, show deaths of those in treatment from 2020 to 2021 for alcohol addiction rose by almost half (44%) to 1,064 and for opiate- medication to treat pain, addiction by 20% to 2,418. “It’s likely that a number of factors will have contributed to the increase in the number of service users who died while in treatment during 2020 to 2021,” the report says.
These factors according to the report are like other areas, drug and alcohol treatment services were affected by the need to protect their staff and service users in the pandemic, with most restricting face-to-face contact. Other factors included the fact that most patients whose opioid substitute consumption was supervised before March 2020 were given take-home doses and fewer service users were able to access inpatient detoxification for alcohol and drugs. The restrictions were also responsible for a huge reduction in testing and treatment for blood-borne viruses and liver disease.