Drug and alcohol addiction costs the taxpayer billions each year and puts an enormous strain on the NHS. As well as the cost of treating illnesses and injuries caused by these addictions, there is the cost of police time for accidents and crime caused by those under the influence of these substances, and the cost of the subsequent court cases and imprisonment.
In 2014, the cost of NHS treatments for drug and alcohol services was £136 million – over 1.4 million people availed of these services.
Should Self-Inflicted Services be Free?
A new report revealed that almost eighty-five per cent of Brits believe that self-inflicted illnesses and injuries should not treated free on the NHS. Many people think that alcoholics should be paying for their own treatment.
Around fifty-two per cent believe that the NHS should not fund treatment for illnesses resulting from smoking while nine per cent believe that the NHS should not have to bear the cost of liver transplants for those who have suffered liver damage because of alcohol abuse.
Twenty-three per cent of those questioned believes that alcoholics should be made to contribute to the cost of a liver transplant operation. Forty-three per cent believe that only those who stay clean for a period of three months or more should be entitled to have the operation free.
Cost of NHS Care
The Benenden National Health Report 2015 highlighted the ignorance of Britons in terms of the NHS and the cost of treatments. Four thousand adults were queried about the cost of treatments on the NHS and estimated that the cost of a liver transplant is £12,279. However, the actual cost is more than £70,000.
The estimate of the cost of abdominal hernia surgery came in at £1,609, but the real cost is £2,281. Almost half of those questioned thought the NHS carried out less than 2,500 gastric band procedures per year, but the actual figure was more than twice that number at 5,443. Many were shocked to hear that these procedures cost around £25 million each year.
It seems it is not just addiction services that people believe should not be funded by the NHS. Seventy-eight per cent thinks that those who required IVF to conceive a child should be paying for the treatment themselves or contributing towards the cost.
Dr John Giles, Benenden’s Medical Director, said, “I suspect most people view diseases caused by excessive drinking and smoking as being self-inflicted and therefore potentially avoidable.”
He also believes that many people do not feel they should have to pay towards the cost of treatment for those who have made poor choices. In addition, he believes that people need to take more responsibility for their health to lessen the burden on the NHS.
Not everyone with addiction problems gets their treatment on the NHS. There are many organisations offering treatment for all types of addiction, ranging from private clinics to local support groups and charity organisations.
The biggest problem that many addicts and their families face is actually accessing these treatments. Many do not know where to look for treatments, and a large majority are clueless as to which treatments will work best.
That is where Rehab Helper comes in. We are a free service providing comprehensive assessments of those with addiction issues. We then offer a wealth of information and advice to clients, which will help them to make an informed choice about where they want to be treated.
If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, contact Rehab Helper today.