An average of just one in 18 problem drinkers in England can access the treatment services they need, government figures released this week reveal.
In the North East the proportion falls to less than one in 100, which prompted charity Alcohol Concern to bemoan the “shocking lack of services” and “postcode lottery in provision”.
The statistics, released by the Department of Health in response to a parliamentary question, show the ratio of available services to people seeking treatment ranges from one in 12 in the North West to one in 102 in the North East.
Geethika Jayatilaka, Alcohol Concern’s director of policy and public affairs, said: “Alcohol misuse is one of the biggest public health problems facing this country, killing 22,000 people every year. Government has to make alcohol services the priority they so urgently need to be.”