Figures from Public Health England (PHE) have revealed that nine of Greater Manchester’s ten boroughs have a higher rate of alcohol related deaths than the national average, as well as higher than the average rates in key alcohol and drug related indicators, including hospital admissions in adults and under 18s, alcohol related deaths, and deaths directly caused by alcohol.
The rate of hospital admissions for alcohol-specific conditions is 53% higher in Greater Manchester than the England average and the rate of alcohol-specific mortality episodes per 100,000 in Greater Manchester is 50% higher than the nationwide average.
Campaigners are calling for greater investment in treatment for those suffering from addiction, claiming it should remain a priority throughout the pandemic. Treatment for substance abuse is especially vital now as people’s mental health has suffered, and alcohol and drug misuse has spiked as a result of lockdowns.
PHE data found the rates of alcohol related deaths in Manchester, Stockport, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Bolton, Bury, Tameside and Wigan are all higher than the national average for England, with the only exception being Trafford. Of the nine boroughs, Bolton, Manchester, Rochdale and Wigan were found to have been affected the worst, and Manchester in particular has been identified as a major hub for county lines drug gangs.
These gangs work by shipping illegal substances out of cities to suburban and rural areas through road and rail links, using drug mules. These ‘mules’ are commonly young adults or children who have been brutalised, groomed and intimidated into doing the job.
In Greater Manchester there are 5,310 people currently undergoing treatment at specialist alcohol misuse services, with Wigan having the highest number of individuals in treatment with 893 receiving help and support.
Whilst 5,310 people are currently getting treatment, it is estimated that around 1,996 will successfully complete their treatment with the average success rate being 37.6% across England and success rates varying across Greater Manchester. Whilst Oldham, Rochdale and Tameside have below average completion rates, Manchester, Salford, Stockport and Trafford’s completion rates are all above average.
The Greater Manchester Drug and Alcohol Strategy states that:
“Drugs and alcohol are everybody’s business. Drugs and alcohol impact on the health and wellbeing of our residents, the safety of our communities, and the vibrancy and economic future of our town centres and night time economies. It is everyone’s responsibility to make sure we minimise the potential risks and harms they cause.”
One of the biggest challenges people suffering from addiction face is the stigma attached to it, with many people viewing addiction as something that only affects ‘other people’ or a certain type of person that is built on harmful stereotypes. In reality, anyone can become addicted and at Acquiesce, we understand that alcohol and drug addictions are often developed from the way in which an individual is coping with issues such as their mental health, trauma and stress.
That’s why our recovery programmes revolve heavily around finding the root of the problem, using psychological based approaches including cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness and one-to-one counselling. These allow an individual to look at the reasons behind their actions and behaviours, and the relationship between the way a person thinks and their problems with addiction. They are aimed to support the individual to break the cycle of destructive behaviours and actions, to form new healthier habits so that they can respond to challenges in a more effective, healthier way.
Our programmes also include a range of physical, spiritual and social approaches and with our centre based in Bolton, Greater Manchester, we use an urban recovery model that provides a discreet, highly supported and safe environment within the community. Whilst not being hidden from the real world this allows individuals to gain all the tools and experience necessary whilst maintaining a carefully monitored level of autonomy and responsibility over their own recovery. This makes any transitional period from treatment a much smoother process resulting in a more sustainable recovery journey.
At Acquiesce, we understand that once you have recognised a problem, it can be hard to admit the need for help. It is common for people to feel ashamed or guilty for the strain they have put on their families, which is why we offer a totally anonymous and judgement free service to help you recover. Our range of programmes are designed to suit your lifestyle and responsibilities as we know that many people in recovery still have familial commitments and responsibilities that mean they cannot be in full residential rehabilitation.
If you think you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol misuse, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our friendly team at Acquiesce for a free, confidential and no judgement consultation. For more information, you can visit our helpful blog which includes advice on addiction and mental health.