Portsmouth rehab service ‘inundated’ as data reveals rise of alcohol-related hospital admissions

A REHAB service based in Cosham has been ‘inundated’ with calls for help over the last two months, as data reveals the strain heavy drinking is placing on the NHS.

The Addiction Recovery Centre (ARC) in Cosham says it has seen calls regarding alcohol abuse increase by more than 100 per cent in the final months of 2020.

It comes as data gathered by The News reveals that alcohol-related hospital admissions from Portsmouth have risen by nine per cent over the last five years – while Fareham’s figure has shot up by 17 per cent.

Meanwhile Gosport’s figure has increased by 10 per cent, and Havant’s has risen by nine per cent.

The Addiction Recovery Centre in Northern Road, Cosham. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (181230-1)

The increase means heavy drinking put 2,900 people from Portsmouth and the surrounding towns into hospital in 2019 – almost ten admissions every day.

Now rehab service providers believe the pressures of 2020 have exacerbated the problem of people drinking unhealthy amounts of alcohol.

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Richard Charlton, director of ARC in Cosham, said: ‘If you take the last two months, we are probably a 100 per cent busier for alcohol calls.

Ambulances parked up outside the Accident and Emergency department at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, Portsmouth on December 29, 2020.Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

‘We have been inundated, but we have been less busy for other drugs.

‘It’s often partners who call us, because their partners are at home all day now, and they are seeing how they are getting worse.

‘Those conversations are happening so much more – so we have put two-and-two together.’

With Covid-19 putting an unprecedented strain upon hospitals, health experts are urging everyone to cut back on their alcohol intake this year and reduce the risks to their health and wellbeing.

Rosanna O’Connor, director of drugs, alcohol and tobacco at Public Health England said simple measures like drink-free days can reduce health risks.

The health professional said: ‘About 10 million people in England are drinking in ways that increase the risks and many are looking to cut down.

‘Setting yourself a target of having more drink-free days every week is an easy way to drink less and reduce the risks to your health.’

ARC’s helplines and services remain open during the national lockdown, and they can be reached on 023 9237 8726.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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