General Article Alcohol dependency prescriptions up three quarters in a decade

Topic Selected: Alcohol
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Prescriptions to treat alcohol dependency have risen by 73 per cent in a decade, according to figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). More than 178,000 prescriptions were issued in 2012, compared to just under 168,000 the previous year and fewer than 103,000 in 2003.

The 2012 figure is the highest number ever recorded by HSCIC, with a net ingredient cost of £2.93 million, says Statistics on alcohol: England, 2013. The report illustrated the impact of alcohol misuse on hospitals in England, according to HSCIC.

‘It is extremely important that patients who are dependent on alcohol have access to drugs that can help them recover,’ said Royal College of Physicians advisor on alcohol, Dr Nick Sheron. ‘However, the rise in prescriptions of drugs to treat alcohol dependency is indicative of the huge strain alcohol abuse puts on our society.’

While the report looked at the number of prescriptions being used to treat dependency, the ‘real issue’ was ‘the vast nu...

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