Alcohol is a significant issue in Slough negatively impacting levels of ill-health, hospital admissions, mortality rates and crime levels. It is also a significant factor in family breakdown and children being taken into care.
Alcohol misuse is a significant concern to the local community. The Safer Slough Partnership Strategic Assessment highlights that 30% of residents surveyed view alcohol related nuisance as a significant problem.
Alcohol misuse is a significant health issue for the local population of Slough. Alcohol related mortality and hospital admissions rates exceed the national average with wide variations in rates between men and women. The cultural and diverse make-up of Slough’s population provides particular challenges in relation to alcohol.
Although some aspects of Slough’s health are good, health in Slough is negatively affected by alcohol. Although many people express positive feelings about their local area, the town suffers significant levels of social and economic deprivation and there are high levels of crime and anti-social behaviour, a proportion of which is driven by alcohol.
There is currently a lack of reliable data on the prevalence of alcohol dependence by unitary authority. Nationally, the prevalence is estimated to be 5.9% (8.7% of men, 3.3% of women). For men, the highest levels of dependence were identified in those between the ages of 25 and 34, for women in those between the ages of 16 and 24. (Source: Adult Psychiatric Morbidity in England, Results of a household survey)
Data is available on levels of ‘increasing risk’ drinking. That is, drinking regularly in excess of recommended levels and in a way that is likely to have adverse impacts on health or mental well-being. Model based estimates from Alcohol Concern in 2014 show that the prevalence of increased risk drinking in Slough is approximately 19%, similar to the national average of 20%. (Source: https://www.alcoholconcern.org.uk/training/alcohol-harm-map/)
In 2014/15, there were 96 alcohol only referrals with 41 reporting alcohol as a secondary substance (to non-opiate). There were 145 in treatment (alcohol only). Of these clients 91% were in effective treatment, which is higher than the national figure of 86.8%.
Of those in treatment, 66% of clients consumed alcohol every day of the 28 days prior to treatment start, which is similar to the national figure of 56%. 58% of the clients drink 10-30 units a day, 16% drinking 30-40 units per day and 18% drink 40+ units per day, and this latter figure is slightly higher than the national figure of 14%.
In 2014/15 93% of clients were over 30 years old, with 47% being over 50, this is in line with local feedback that the alcohol using community is older. Those attending the service in Slough with alcohol as their main problem are mainly white British (57%) males (68%) who have mainly been referred by their GP or the early intervention substance misuse service (42.7%) or who have self-referred (38.5%).
(Source: www.ndtms.net Quarterly activity reports Q4 14_15)
Of those in treatment60% are dual diagnosis clients highlighting the need for close working with community mental health teams. In addition, 28% of adults accessing treatment during 2014/15 were living with children. This is similar to the national figure of 25.8%.
(Source: www.ndtms.net DOMES reports Q4 14_15)
In 2013/14 there were 570 men and 192 women per 100,000 population who were admitted to hospital with an alcohol-specific diagnosis. Overall this rate is similar to the national average. Over this same period, however, the total number of admissions that were related to alcohol were higher in Slough than nationally with a rate for men at 2,052 per 100,000 (vs. 1,715 nationally) and women at 1,013 per 100,000 (vs. 859 nationally).
Source: Public Health England (2012)
In 2013/14 it was identified that Slough had higher rates of alcohol specific death rates per 100,000 when compared against the regional averages (17.1 male and 3.9 female alcohol compared 10.6 for men and 7.5 for women). Alcohol related deaths are lower in Slough than nationally, with 60.4 vs. 65.4 for men and 27.5 vs. 28.4 for women. This suggests that although with have a higher rate of alcohol related admissions, we have appropriate measures in place as our mortality rate is low in comparison to national figures.
In an estimate of the number of months of life lost as a result of alcohol, men in Slough lose 11.4 months and women lose 4.8 months. These are slightly lower than national figures of 12 months and 5.6 months respectively.
(Source: http://www.lape.org.uk/ Local Alcohol Profiles for England 13_14)
Excessive or binge drinking is associated with numerous different types of crime and ASB. However, the relationship between crime and alcohol is complex and can contribute to different types of crime, such as criminal damage, sexual offences, acquisitive crime and assault. There has been a considerable amount or research done on the nature of the link between alcohol and crime and it is generally acknowledged to be complex. Alcohol is not always a causal factor in crime.
Alcohol related crime in Slough is relatively high with nearly 700 crimes in 2013/14. This makes up part of the total for Thames Valley Police, which is just over 5,000 for 2013/14.
(Source: Data provided by SSP 13/14 (June 2015))
Clear outcomes have also been set out in the Government’s Alcohol Strategy 2012, the strategy argues in favour of actions to combat the effects of “excess” and has set outcomes to:
The key aims of the Slough DAAT are to provide an effective drug/alcohol treatment system in order to:
There are several services for drug treatment provided in Slough that have capacity to support clients with alcohol misuse issues.
A wide range of psycho-social interventions provided by CRI including:
Increased capacity for community alcohol detoxification also provided by CRI:
(These services follow the assessment process as set out in the Models of Care for alcohol misusers 2006.)
The report ‘Alcohol, health inqequalities and the harm paradox’ by the Institude of Alcohol Studies highlights that while those from lower socioeconomic groups experience greater health problems due to alcohol despite on average drinking less than those in higher income groups.