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Alcohol and drug abuse social service referrals doubles in Bucks

Data compiled by drug addition and treatment group UKAT shows a huge increase in the number of referrals overall.

Published by Scarlett Bawden-Gaul at 1:37pm 18th May 2020. 2-minute read.

Alcohol and drug abuse social service referrals doubles in Bucks

Referrals to social care services have seen a rise across the South East. 

There has been a big jump in the number of cases being referred to social services in Buckinghamshire because of alcohol and drug misuse/abuse. 

In 2015/16 the number of referrals where alcohol was found to be the contributing factor was 432, which more than double in 2018/19 to 1,005. 

Drug abuse has also risen as a factor identified, from 479 three years ago to 928 in 2018/19.

The figures have been compiled by UKAT an addiciton and treatment group.

UKAT's Group Treatment Lead, Nuno Albuquerque, is worried about how COVID-19 will affect these numbers:

“We must remember that these aren’t just numbers; they’re children, parents and carers whose situation last year was so concerning it was passed to social services to explore and support. Worse still, more and more referrals are coming through every year.

“Our immediate concern now is how much worse their situations may have become since the COVID-19 lockdown was enforced. Those who were living with domestic violence, neglect, physical abuse and drug and alcohol abuse now have nowhere to go, nowhere to escape to. 

“Unfortunately, we’d expect to see the number of referrals into social care and support services rise during this time, particularly for alcohol misuse.”

In Buckinghamshire the number of referrals overall nearly doubled from 1,991 in 2015/16 to 3,693 in 2018/19

Nuno explained there is misunderstanding over support available at the moment:

"Alcohol abuse and drug abuse was already a pandemic, before this pandemic happened. 

"People should keep on seeking support to deal with their addictions even though they are in knockdown. Services are open and sometimes people don't know that."

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