Visiting Stockton Recovery Service on Friday 15 December, Alex Cunningham MP saw how the local alcohol treatment and recovery service from Change Grow Live (CGL) is helping people to overcome difficulties with alcohol.
Cunningham heard about alcohol addiction and its damaging effect on individuals, families and communities, and saw the crucial work being done at the service to help people turn their lives around. He requested the visit after receiving the latest report from the Alcohol Health Alliance (AHA) highlighting the levels of alcohol harm across the UK.
Problems in the North East
Cunningham heard how the North East has the highest rates of alcohol-related hospital admissions and alcohol deaths in England and echoed urgent calls for the UK Government to introduce a comprehensive alcohol strategy to reduce the rising levels of alcohol harm across the country.
Both the AHA and CGL are calling for an evidence-based national alcohol strategy that tackles the price, availability and marketing of alcohol, and includes increased funding for treatment services to reach more people and save more lives.
Talking about his visit, Alex Cunningham MP, said:
“The North East has the highest rates of alcohol harm in England. It is a key driver of inequalities in society, with impacts that can be truly devastating. Seeing the excellent work Stockton Recovery Service provides people in need highlights just how important it is to have properly funded treatment services to make our communities safer and healthier. The government must do more to ensure that these services have the right funding in place by introducing a comprehensive alcohol strategy.”
Jenny Thompson, Services Manager at Stockton Recovery Service said:
“In the last few years, referrals to our service for support with alcohol use have more than doubled and we’re treating more people than ever. We have a comprehensive offer of 1-1 support, group sessions, peer support and clinical treatment available. Sadly, many people are coming to us when their use has escalated to a point where there is irreversible damage to their health, relationships, career and wellbeing. We’re grateful that Alex has joined us today to see how the work we do benefits both individuals and communities and is sharing our plight for greater investment in strategy and funding to expand our work and reach to those who need it.”
Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, Chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance, said:
“Every day around 70 people lose their life to alcohol related harm. It’s the leading risk factor for death, ill-health, and disability amongst 15–49-year-olds in England alone. Over 80% of adults with alcohol dependence are not receiving the help they need, and we urgently need the Government to take action. To do this, we need an alcohol strategy, which tackles price, promotion, and affordability, and big increases to treatment provision.”