Home Kent News Kent has the most ‘alcohol dependent’ adults in the country

Kent has the most ‘alcohol dependent’ adults in the country

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Original article from Kent Live

Kent has the highest number of alcohol dependent adults in the UK according to data from Public Health England (PHE),

A report published by the University of Sheffield for PHE revealed that an estimated 14,587 adults in Kent were dependent on alcohol and potentially in need of specialist treatment in 2018.

According to data from the Office for National Statistics published by Kent County Council 295,000 people in Kent drink above the safe limit.

Read more: Drinking habits during the Covid pandemic are 'concerning'

Of that 295,000, 23 per cent are considered to be at increasing or higher risk and 2 per cent are dependent on alcohol.

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Consultant for Alcohol and Drugs Misuse at Kent County Council, Jess Mookherje, said: “With the impact of COVID continuing to affect people’s lifestyles, work and relationships, we are really concerned about people’s drinking habits.

“We know that some people have already cutback but for many, especially those drinking at home, it’s incredibly difficult to appreciate how many units you’re pouring and we are seeing evidence nationally that people are drinking more regularly which is already leading to a rise in alcohol-related health harms.”

Almost 15,000 adults in Kent are dependent on alcohol

A recent YouGov poll by alcohol dependence charity Forward Trust found that alcohol consumption has become worse over the course of the pandemic.

Figures suggest that up to 20 per cent of UK adults may be drinking more after three lockdowns and 37 per cent of people surveyed who identified as being in recovery from an addiction prior to lockdown have experienced a relapse or a re-occurrence of their addictive behaviour since lockdown.

On a national scale this may mean more than two million people in recovery from an addiction have experienced some form of relapse during lockdown.

While the figures in Kent are worryingly high, the PHE study shows other local authorities share similar statistics.

Lancashire has the second highest number of alcohol dependent adults in the UK at 14,364, shortly followed by Birmingham with 13,443.

The City of London has the lowest figure at just 118 people.

Kent County Council has urged residents to try the online ‘Lower My Drinking’ tool which asks ten questions about users’ drinking habits before giving them a score.

The self-assessment tool provides tips to cut down alcohol intake and signposts those who require professional help to their local support services.

Kent residents can find further support from the ‘Lower My Drinking’ app which is available for free on the Google and Apple stores.

There are also a range of both informal and formal support services available across Kent, including AA, Smart Recovery and AI-anon for friends, family and carers of alcoholics.

Kent County Council also commissions specialist treatment providers to provide structured treatment for alcohol addiction – Forward Trust runs the East Kent Community Drug and Alcohol Service while Change Grow Live provides the West Kent Drug and Alcohol Wellbeing Service.

One You Kent is another service that supports people if they need further help to cut back on alcohol.

295,000 Kent residents drink more than the recommended limit

Mark Cummings, One You Kent Locality Lead said: “A healthy lifestyle is a key factor for preventing illness.

“One You Lifestyle Advisers will spend time discussing any concerns you have including alcohol and the effects that drinking too much could be having on your health and wellbeing.”

Jess added: “People who are affected by alcohol addiction do not have to suffer alone, we want them to get help. It is important to get support they need at the right time.

“If people are drinking because they are depressed and stressed we urge them to see their GPs or contact Live Well Kent.

"Alcohol is never the real solution for these issues. For those who feel their drinking is hurting themselves or loved ones, or they are having trouble keeping their lives in control, we urge them to get the support available now, your lives are important, help is available”.

Original Article