A rise in alcohol related deaths in local boroughs ‘demands immediate attention and action’, a treatment group has said.

The latest figures for North West authorities from 2016 to 2022 showed an upward trend in the death toll across the region.

Analysis by alcohol addiction treatment UKAT (UK Addition Treatment Centres), which runs Oasis Recovery drug and alcohol rehab shows that 1,021 people died of alcohol misuse in 2016, rising by nearly 10% to 1,112 deaths in 2022.

In Blackburn with Darwen, there was an increase from 40 deaths per year to 55 during the six-year period, according to the figures.

However, Liverpool, Manchester, and Lancashire experienced the most significant rises. 

Across the Lancashire authority, there were 75 deaths from alcohol in 2022, rising from 60 in 2016.

Manchester saw a rise from 75 to 90 deaths in the same period. Liverpool had the highest death toll, reporting an increase from 85 deaths in 2016 to 100 in 2022, an 18% rise in six years.

UKAT said rising trends indicated ‘a severe and growing public health issue’ that demands ‘immediate and comprehensive intervention’. 

The factors contributing to this increase since Covid were said to be socio-economic pressures, and insufficient access to effective treatment and support services in local authority areas. 

Lee Fernandes is lead therapist at the UK Addiction Treatment Group which runs Oasis Recovery.

He said: “As the North West region grapples with the rising toll of alcohol-related mortality, it is essential for all stakeholders to work together to develop and implement effective solutions. 

“Councils across the region have this year, for the first time since 2012, a ring-fenced pot of money that must be spent on inpatient detoxification. 

“We urge council leaders to allocate this spend effectively and to enhance the treatment given to alcohol users with the addition of residential rehabilitation support as well. 

“Because ultimately, through robust therapy, we can address the root cause of their alcohol addiction and provide the necessary support for a life of recovery. Working in this way should help reverse this troubling mortality trend and improve the health and well-being of our local communities.”

In 2022, Blackburn with Darwen’s new Alcohol Strategy was approved by councillors. It aims to 'Inform, Explain Clarify' to explain how people can deal with alcohol addiction in plain language they can understand.

It revealed that only one in five of the borough's problem drinkers present to alcohol support and recovery service.

Blackburn with Darwen’s ‘Spark’, is a dedicated alcohol and drug support service for people and families.

The team provides a wide range of services, including: one-to-one sessions; group therapy; counselling and brief interventions.

You can find out more about the service by calling  01254 495014.