A surge in the number of individuals with serious alcohol and drug misuse problems is developing as a result of media coverage of the Covid-19 crisis, experts say.
People with problems with drugs and alcohol are not seeking treatment because of a “media-fuelled”, widespread assumption that “everything has stopped”
The UK Addiction Treatment Group (UKAT) said that admissions into their seven residential rehabilitation facilities across the country has reduced by almost 20% in the last month alone.
UKAT’s Group Treatment Lead, Nuno Albuquerque, said: “There are people who need immediate treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, and their needs run in parallel with the people who need immediate treatment for COVID-19.”
Albuquerque said that UKAT is “fighting a pandemic within a pandemic”.
The current Coronavirus crisis has “crippled” the NHS, he said, and has forced vital support services for those already in recovery like the Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous groups into providing their help virtually.
Experts at UKAT warn of a potential surge in the number of people relapsing in the community, as the pressures from lockdown could impact those in stable recovery from drugs and alcohol across the country.