Drugs prescribed to treat alcohol dependency up nearly 75 per cent in nine years


Drugs prescribed to treat alcohol dependency up nearly 75 per cent in nine years

Prescriptions dispensed to treat alcohol dependency in England have increased by almost 75 per cent in nine years, Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) figures show.

Almost 180,000 prescription items were dispensed in the community in 2012, the highest number recorded since HSCIC’s annual report about alcohol began in 2003.

The latest figure (178,250 in 2012) is a six per cent increase on the previous year (167,760) and a 73 per cent increase on 2003 (102,740).

The Net ingredient Cost of these drugs stood at £2.93 million in 2012, a rise of nearly 18 per cent on the previous year (£2.49 million) and a rise of 70 per cent on 2003 (£1.72 million).

Today’s report also shows 315 prescription items were dispensed per 100,000 of the population in 2012 compared to 302 per 100,000 in the previous year.

The report: Statistics on Alcohol: England, 2013: is a compendium of statistics about drinking behaviours, knowledge and attitudes, costs, ill health and mortality. The majority of information has been previously published and is drawn from a variety of sources, but information on prescribing and hospital admissions is newly presented today.

Considering hospital admissions in England where the main reason for admission (primary diagnosis) was an alcohol related condition:

Hospitals admitted 200,900 cases in 2012, a one per cent rise on 2011 (198,900) and a 41 per cent rise on 2002-03 (142,000).
Almost two thirds of admissions were male patients (60.4 per cent, or 121,300 out of 200,900), which is the same as the previous year (60.4 per cent, or 120,000 out of 198,900).
Regionally, admission rates were highest in the North West (200 per 100,000 of the population) and lowest in the East England region (84 per 100,000 of the population)7.
HSCIC Chief Executive Alan Perkins said: “Today’s report shows a substantial increase in the number of drugs prescribed for alcohol dependency compared to almost a decade ago. Today’s report illustrates the impact of alcohol misuse on hospitals in England, which will be of interest to health professionals, policy makers and the general public.”



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