The High Cost of Drug Use and Addiction in the UK
The United Kingdom has been battling the increasing number of drug users and addicts for many years. According to the recent statistics released by the UK Drug Policy Commission, the United Kingdom has the highest level of drug use and the second highest level of drug related deaths in Europe. Over the last decade there has been a 68% increase in the number of recorded drug offenses, causing many people to present new alternatives on how those abusing drugs can receive help without including jail, prison, or the UK court system.
Recent figures for illegal drug use have cost the UK at least £110 billion in the last decade while only £3 billion has been spent on trying to fix the rapidly growing problem. According to the UK based charity Addaction, the bill for Class A drug related crime has surpassed 100 billion pounds since 1998; health costs financed by the NHS have cost another 10 billion pounds. The total amount of money being spent on illegal drug use is constantly rising and is currently costing the UK more than £16 billion a year. However, Addaction stated that only a mere three percent has been put towards reducing drug use and addiction. Between 2010 and 2011, drug related medical costs were at £560 million while £2.6 billion was spent on individuals being processed through the court system. Addaction chief executive Deborah Cameron stated that ‘Illegal drug use is costing the UK taxpayer £16.4billion a year, which is more than one-and-a-half times the cost of the Olympic Games in 2012.” The numbers are jaw dropping, leading many people to push for more programmes to help addicts. Martin Barnes, head of charity DrugScope, says “The money spent on drug treatment is a fraction of the economic and social costs that problem drug use causes families and communities.”
Up until now, the United Kingdom government focused on the legal status of drugs and penalised addicts by sending them to jail or giving them various terms and conditions to follow on probation. Only recently, the UK government announced that they will begin to develop a new plan to help addicts overcome their addiction through rehabilitation centre’s and treatment programmes. This is good news for many and sounds promising. By addressing drug use and addiction as a medical issue rather than a criminal issue, addicts can eliminate any fear of admitting that they need help. Additionally, adolescents and young adults can become further educated about the harmful effects of drug use and furthermore understand that help will be available if they need it. Use and Addiction in the UK
Approximately 2 million individuals in the UK are battling an addiction to heroin, cocaine, prescription medications, alcohol, as well as ketamine and MDMA. With the economic problems and the increasing population, drug use is not appearing to slow down.
Treatment for Addiction
While the United Kingdom has some world class rehabilitation and treatment centres, it can be more beneficial for an addict to get away from home and receive treatment in an unfamiliar surrounding. Studies have shown that a new environment away from any possible disturbances can greatly improve a person’s recovery from an addiction. The Cabin Chiang Mai is a renowned rehab centre nestled in the valley of Chiang Mai Thailand. We cater to addicts from around the world with many coming from the UK. If you or someone you know has an addiction to drugs or alcohol and have questions or would like to get help, please contact The Cabin today.*Statistics have been compiled from the Home Office and NHS data