Newly published data from the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System [NDTMS] reports a rise in the number of new patients being treated for alcohol problems for the fourth year running.

The number of patients referred for alcohol problems for the first time in England rose by 1% to 74,353 in 2011-12, from 73,705 in 2010-11, the highest figure recorded since records began in 2008-09.

The figures also show a slight decline in the number being treated for alcohol problems in 2011/12 (108,906 down from 111,025 the year before), indicating that the NHS alcohol treatment system is ‘working well for many people’, according to the National Treatment Agency. The number and proportion of successful completions increased from 35,913 (54%) in 2010-11 to 38,177 (57%) in 2011-12.

NTA Director of Delivery Rosanna O’Connor said: “The high number of people who require help with problem drinking remains a great cause for concern. The signs that more are seeking to overcome their alcohol misuse and more are successfully completing treatment are, however, encouraging.”