UK is ‘addiction capital’ of Europe2nd September, 2013 by Rupert Millar
The Centre for Social Justice has called on the government to tackle the issue of cheap alcohol and heroin addiction as the UK was named the addiction capital of Europe.
Alcohol abuse reportedly costs the UK £21bn a year and drugs £15bn.
The report’s main concern focused on drugs such as “Salvia” and “Green Rolex”, which were often marketed as bath salts or research chemicals but were freely available over the web.
CSJ said it had found the number of deaths from these legal highs rose last year from 28 to 52. It added that 40,000 drug addicts had been stranded on the substitute methadrone.
The report also said that alcohol dependence in British men was the second highest in western Europe and the seventh overall, while UK women are the most dependent on the continent.
According to CSJ, one in four adults in England drink to harmful levels and one in 20 were “dependent drinkers”.
The North/South divide was also highlighted, with 26 of the 30 local authorities with the biggest alcohol problems being in the north of the country.
Although it recognised the government’s will to tackle problem drinking, the CSJ report also criticised it for not having implemented a minimum unit price or a “treatment tax” for addicts.