Wigan has more than double the amount of alcoholics than the English average, shock new figures reveal.
A report compiled by NHS England has highlighted the concerning problem of alcohol abuse in Wigan compared to the rest of the country as a whole, with more than 2,300 prescriptions for alcohol dependency being given out in 2017.
The number equates to 729 prescriptions per 100,000 people which is more than 100 per cent higher than the 305 per 100,000 people average across the country.
According to the data, the most common form of treatment for alcohol addiction in Wigan is acamprosate calcium, a substance which balances out chemicals in the brain of someone who has recently gone teetotal.
Prof Kate Ardern, Wigan Council’s director for public health, referred to the number of alcohol-related hospital admissions, which are also higher than the UK average but have dropped by a fifth in the past six years.
She said: “Wigan borough has historically had higher levels of alcohol-related hospital admissions than the national and regional average.
“However, in recent years, due to investment in new approaches to alcohol treatment which were introduced in 2014/15, the gap between the level of admissions at a local level and national level have shrunk, whilst having lower and comparable rates of admissions with the North West and Greater Manchester respectively.
“Through the Local Alcohol Profiles stats for England this shows the direct age-standardised rate per 100,000 population (which is standardised to the European standard population) of alcohol-related hospital admissions in Wigan, Greater Manchester, North West England and England.
“When compared with Wigan’s closest statistical neighbours, since 2011/12, Wigan has seen the largest reduction in alcohol-related hospital admissions, with a reduction in hospital admissions of 21 per cent.”
Prof Ardern was keen to stress what action is being taken to tackle Wigan’s drink problem. She said: “Addaction provide vital specialist alcohol treatment right across the borough. GP’s can refer directly to the service for treatment, as can individuals.
"The number of people working with the alcohol and drug service for alcohol problems has risen over recent years. People are supported with their recovery from alcohol dependency through one to one support, group work and access to community activities."
Anyone concerned about alcohol issues is aasked to call Addaction on 01942 487578.