Action on Addiction Statement on The Spending Review 2020
Action on Addiction statement on The Spending Review 2020
Action on Addiction fully supports the Local Government Association and wide-ranging health and social care organisations’ call on the government to confirm its commitment to people who have been disproportionality impacted by COVID-19, and to urgently invest in public health. We are encouraged to see that people affected by problems related to addiction feature high on the list of spending priorities. We wholeheartedly agree that the anticipated Spending Review must include urgent and additional funding across public health and this must include addiction treatment, family support and early intervention and treatment for children and young people.
There is growing evidence that the problems of addiction are rising during the pandemic. In September 2020, the Royal College of Psychiatrists published its analysis into public health data which showed that up to 8 million people were now drinking more excessively, with 500,000 people drinking at harmful levels. Our own research mirrors the experience in other reports that people are drinking more. In June, our own poll showed that a quarter of people who responded were drinking more and, of those, 15% said they were experiencing negative consequences related to their drinking.
Unsurprisingly, Action on Addiction is handling more enquiries via our website as a result of the pandemic.
Speaking today, Graham Beech, Action on Addiction Chief Executive said:
“Addiction is a life-stopping condition which infiltrates families and affects people of all ages and from all social backgrounds. The worrying escalation of harmful drinking, alongside other increases in other forms of addiction including drug and gambling addiction, reinforces what we knew even before the pandemic – the problems of addiction are growing in both volume and complexity at a time when society’s capacity to deal with those problems is diminishing. As and when we emerge from the pandemic, we must make sure that people who find themselves living with the damaging consequences of addiction are able to access the support and treatment they now need irrespective of their ability to pay for it”
“The benefits of addiction recovery, which is a force for good in society, are far-reaching, and life-changing for individuals, families and communities. and. However, left un-checked addiction will devastate more lives and wreak havoc in our communities. We are calling on government not to allow this to be one of the long-term consequences of COVID-19.”
“It is imperative that the government’s COVID-19 recovery plan reaches all those affected by the long-term health and economic consequences of the pandemic, including the problems of addiction.”
If you need advice on addiction we have resources here
Read more about our poll on addiction in lockdown here
Read more about our ideas on how to deliver effective addiction treatment here