Group Calls for More Funding on Alcohol Treatment
Local authorities are expecting the proportion of the substance misuse budget that is spent on alcohol to either increase or stay the same, reflecting a greater prioritization of alcohol. But treatment providers do not share the optimism of local authorities as they expressed concern that the attention given to alcohol treatment will not be reflected in funding flowing through them.
Those were the findings from an interim report by Alcohol Concern looking at the impact on alcohol of the public health transfer to local authorities.
The report entitled, A Measure of Change, looks at the impact of changes to the health system on funding and whether alcohol has become a greater priority than before the changes. It found that the majority of local authorities expect funding for alcohol services and activities to stay the same or increase over the next three years. However in contrast almost a third of treatment providers say they’ve seen funding decrease in the last financial year and two thirds of treatment providers expect funding to decrease in the next three years.
It also found that local authority areas experiencing high levels of alcohol-related harm were the least likely to expect increased funding for alcohol. Meanwhile treatment providers in high and medium harm areas were far more likely to expect a decrease in funding than those in lower harm areas.
Tom Smith, Policy Program Manager at Alcohol Concern said, “As may have been expected spending on alcohol services remained unchanged in many areas in the first year after the public health transfer to local authorities but there are anxieties, certainly from treatment providers, about the future.”
He added that it is a real concern for the future that those local authority areas battling against the worst levels of alcohol-related harm are the least likely to expect increased funding for alcohol.
Smith went on to say, “Alcohol misuse has a huge impact on local communities so it’s vital that local authorities recognize this and create joined up strategies to address all the issues. Both treatment and prevention services need to be given clear prioritization and responsibility must not be allowed to fall between the gaps of local bodies and service’s remits.”
The findings in this interim report have been drawn from the first of two sets of questionnaires. The first wave of questionnaires was sent out in the financial year 2013/2014. The second set of questionnaires will be sent out in the financial year 2014/2015 and will help form the final project report due in winter 2014.
The questionnaires were sent to 30 of the 152 upper tier local authorities who now have responsibility for commissioning alcohol prevention and treatment services, representing around 20% of the total. They were also sent to the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and alcohol treatment providers operating in the same 30 areas.
There are manyforms of treatments available against alcohol abuse, including naltrexone, an antagonist drug that, can curb the alcoholic’s physical cravings and can also prevent him or her from finding pleasure in drinking. BioCorRx, Inc. (OTCQB: BICX)is a leading example of a company that incorporates the use of naltrexone in the form of a biodegradable implant in its rehabilitation program called the Start Fresh Program.
The Start Fresh Program also involves a life coaching program tailored to the specific needs of the alcoholic to help him or her plan an alcohol-free life. It differs from the usual “rehab” approach, as it is conducted in a series of private sessions that involve only the patient, the life coach and an accompanying recovery partner such as a friend or family member if desired.
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The following article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.