Increase in drug and alcohol related deaths recorded in Brighton and Hove Brighton News

More than 30 drug and alcohol-related deaths were recorded by the Brighton and Hove coroner last year, new figures show.

The city coroner found that the deaths of 39 people – 10 women and 29 men – were drug or alcohol related in 2020.

This is an increase from the 28 deaths recorded in 2019, according to investigation findings released by the Department of Justice.

Experts have warned that the coronavirus pandemic is worsening a national drug crisis, with coroner figures showing the highest number of drug and alcohol-related deaths in seven years.

The chief executive of Alcohol Change UK said there was still work to be done to understand the sharp rise in deaths in England and Wales.

Dr Richard Piper has suggested that the pandemic may have made people more likely to drink alcohol, but less likely to seek help with drinking problems.

He added: “What is clear is that the crisis is worsening and millions of people are suffering.

“If the UK is to recover from the pandemic, the government must act.

“We need to have a comprehensive and strategic set of government policies to tackle alcohol harm, including an alcohol care team in every NHS hospital that needs it, and sustainable funding for treatment services so that each of us who is struggling will have access to high quality support when we need it. ”

Dr Laura Garius, policy officer for the drug charity Release, said drug-related deaths were increasing at a rate not seen in years.

She said: ‘The current drug-related death crisis represents a failure of UK drug policy to protect some of society’s most vulnerable people, as well as a failure to invest in harm reduction. and treatment, which we know can save lives. ”

A recent publication survey indicated that people had reported an increase in their drug use throughout the pandemic.

Dr Garius said: “We know that people use drugs for a variety of reasons, including to relieve feelings of boredom and stress, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic.”

A government spokesperson said systematically tackling the causes of preventable death and health problems through the new Office for Health Promotion was a priority, adding that the government would invest £ 80million in funding drug treatment over 15 years.

He said: “Throughout the past year providers have continued to support and treat people who abuse drugs and alcohol and we are supporting local authorities with over £ 3.3bn in funding. 2021-2022 to be spent on public health services.

“Deaths from drug and alcohol abuse can devastate lives and harm communities, and we will always work nationally and locally to tackle drug abuse, tighten controls on hazardous substances and expand the availability of treatments that prevent overdose deaths. ”

As part of the NHS long-term plan, the government is supporting efforts to create or improve specialist alcohol care teams in hospitals with the highest rates of alcohol harm.

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This notice was published: 2021-05-26 16:00:00