|The British – a nation of drug and alcohol addicts, report brands Britain addicted man of Europe
Britain, where binge drinking is a favorite indulgence from the pub to the football field, and where the ability to soak up alcohol is a badge of honor, is a nation addicted to alcohol and narcotic dugs such as crack cocaine and heroin. Every day, 24 mothers are admitted to hospitals in Britain over alcohol-related miscarriages – one every hour. Every month 100 babies are born addicted.
“Britain is the addicted man of Europe, with the highest rate of opiate [mainly heroin] abuse,’’ says the Centre for Social Justice in a report that reveals the extent of alcohol and drug abuse in the country. Britain “has the greatest number of people in drug treatment (double that of Germany).’’
Opiate and crack abuse remains shockingly high in the UK, and the state is one of the biggest suppliers, the centre found. “Nearly 400,000 people in the UK are addicted to opiates, crack or both. This represents one of the highest rates of drug abuse in Europe.’’
In Middlesbrough, for example, addiction to opiates and or crack has risen by 10 per cent in the last four years. One in 40 adults in Middlesbrough is either a heroin and/or crack user, a number that has risen since 2007.
The report says alcohol admissions to hospitals have doubled in a decade and use of new legal highs has soared. Alcohol-related admissions to hospital is forecast to exceed 1.5 million a year.
Every year rising numbers of people in Britain are being treated for cannabis use, with a 36 percent increase since 2005-06. Up to 80 per cent of the cannabis in Britain is ‘skunk’ or skunk-strength. This variety is six times stronger than that in the 1960s.
Ketamine use has doubled and alcohol-related deaths have doubled since 1991 and liver disease is now one of the ‘big five killers,’ the Centre for Social Justice says.
Every year, 9,000 mothers are admitted to hospital with alcohol-related miscarriages and every month 100 babies are born addicted to drugs such as heroin that their mothers have been using during gestation.
“Addiction and alcohol and drug abuse are taking a heavy toll on Britain. One in 20 adults in England (1.6 million) is dependent on alcohol and one in 100 (380,000) is addicted to heroin or crack cocaine,’’ the centre explains.
The World Drugs Report had earlier ranked Scotland second for cocaine, while England and Wales were listed fourth and sixth.
The centre found that more than 380,000 in Britain are addicted to opiates and or crack – 300,000 of them in England alone.
Besides, 335,000 children are growing up in homes with a parent addicted to opiates and or crack.
A rising number of people are ‘parked’ on opiate substitutes: 150,000 people are being prescribed an opiate substitute, of whom one in three have been on their prescription for more than four years (up 30 per cent since 2010), and one in 20 for more than 10 (up 40 per cent since 2010), the centre says.
Addiction to drink and drugs means more than 340,000 people are on welfare rather than in work, with a further 100,000 carers picking up the pieces, not able to work, the report notes.
In half of the 700,000 violent crimes in Britain, victims believe their attacker has been drinking, the report notes.