The number of drugs prescriptions for alcohol dependency in England is at an all-time high, according to figures from Statistics on Alcohol in England 2013 which form part of an upward trend that tells of an increase of almost 75% in prescriptions ordered to treat dependency in the last nine years.

Published today by the Health and Social Care Information Centre [HSCIC], this year’s report found that almost 180,000 prescription items were dispensed in the community in 2012, a 6% increase on the previous year (167,760) and the highest number recorded since HSCIC’s annual report about alcohol began in 2003. The Net Ingredient Cost of the drugs prescribed stood at nearly £3 million in 2012.

There was also a rise in alcohol-related hospital admissions. The number of admissions where the primary diagnosis was attributable to the consumption of alcohol (narrow measure) rose to over 200,000 cases in 2011/12 (200,900), a 1% rise on the previous year (198,900). On the broad measure – cases related to alcohol consumption where an alcohol-related disease, injury or condition was the primary reason for hospital admission or a secondary diagnosis – there were an estimated 1,220,300 admissions in 2011/12, representing an increase of 4% on the 2010/11 figure (1,168,300).

The Statistics on Alcohol in England report is an annual report presenting a broad picture of health issues related to alcohol misuse, drinking habits and behaviours, drinking related ill health and mortality, affordability of alcohol and alcohol related costs. It forms part of a suite of statistical reports covering various aspects of health and social care including smoking, drug use and obesity, nutrition and physical activity.