UK hospitals record high number of alcohol dependency cases

Review study from the UK revealed high alcohol dependence among hospital patients in the UK. According to the review evidence, one in five patients from the UK hospital system showed signs of harmful alcohol consumption, while one in ten was deemed as alcohol dependent.

According to reports, alcohol dependence screening for patients was limited, in addition to insufficient services for alcohol dependent patients. Through the study, experts highlight the urgency for universal screening in UK hospitals to test patients for alcohol related problems. This would also pave way for improved training programmes for alcohol dependent patients.

The results revealed a high prevalence of alcohol dependence among hospital inpatients than in general population. As per the study findings, harmful alcohol consumption was ten times higher among hospital inpatients and alcohol dependence was eight times higher in comparison to general population in the UK.

Moreover, harmful alcohol dependence was common among inpatients from mental units and cases of alcohol dependence were common in emergency and accident departments. With regards to reports released by the National Health Service (NHS), cases related to alcohol conditions generated a yearly revenue of approximately 3.5 billion pounds. The study drew attention to importance of hospital screening for alcohol related health conditions, which may have adverse consequences if left unattended.

According to reports, UK government has drawn a new alcohol strategy, in addition to a ten year NHS plan which reserves funds to treat alcohol related conditions.

The study published in the journal Addiction, records a statement by one of the lead researchers of the study from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London, “Many doctors are aware that alcohol-related conditions are common among hospital inpatients, but our results suggest the problem is much bigger than anecdotally assumed. Dedicated inpatient alcohol care teams are needed to ensure this widespread problem is being addressed, particularly in the context of diminishing numbers of specialist community alcohol services in the UK,” says Dr Emmert Roberts.