Increase in people entering rehab over Christmas period

Data released by an Essex-based residential drug and alcohol treatment centre has revealed a huge rise in the number of people from across the East checking into rehab for drug and alcohol addiction over the Christmas and New Year period in comparison to previous years.

Sanctuary Lodge in Halstead – run by the UK Addiction Treatment Group – admitted 72 clients between December 1, 2020 and January 10, 2021, compared to just 48 admissions between the same period in 2019.

It says this could be down to the coronavirus crisis “tipping people over the edge” when it comes to misusing drugs and alcohol – causing them to realise that they need to seek professional help in order to be free from addiction this year.

The centre also revealed that around three out of five of the most recent Christmas admissions were for alcohol addiction alone. This is something that therapists at Sanctuary Lodge say after 2020 is “unsurprising”.

The split between men and women checking into rehab has also changed in the last year.

Between December 1, 2020 and January 10, 2021, 79 per cent of admissions were male and 21 per cent female.

Between December 1, 2019 and January 10, 2020, the split stood at 69 per cent men and 31 per cent women.

Nuno Albuquerque, head of treatment for Sanctuary Lodge said: “What we have seen at Sanctuary Lodge is that a lot of people have really struggled throughout 2020 and for some, this has led to the development of very unhealthy relationships with drugs and alcohol.

“As we approached the end of 2020, more and more people than ever checked into our rehab; they took that all important first step and asked for help.”

Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter