MORE people than ever are being treated for alcohol dependency in Wigan borough according to new figures.
A report released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) revealed that the number of prescriptions for treating alcohol dependency in the borough has increased by 26 per cent in the last five years.
The Statistics on Alcohol: England, 2013 report also revealed that the number of hospital admissions due to alcohol are still higher than the rest of Greater Manchester.
Dr Kate Ardern, director of public health at Wigan Council, said: “The number of prescriptions for treating alcohol dependency in the borough has increased by 26 per cent in the last five years.
“This increase partly reflects the extra investment in local alcohol services during this period. That means we are now better equipped to identify people who need our support and offer them help. For example, we work with the local hospital to identify patients who have problems with alcohol. Prescriptions are only used in serious cases of alcohol dependency. We believe the most effective way of reducing the impact of alcohol abuse is to help people address their drinking before it gets to that stage. So we have developed a range of services and schemes to help people tackle alcohol abuse before prescriptions become necessary.”
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. The report illustrates the impact of alcohol.”