THE number of alcohol-related hospital admissions for men in Trafford is higher than the national average.

The demand for addiction support is also high, with referrals for alcohol support services up since the last lockdown ended.

Demand for services has remained high throughout the pandemic.

In a health scrutiny report, due to be presented to the council this week, the latest data for Trafford’s alcohol related illnesses and hospital admissions was revealed.

The borough is above the national average for the number of alcohol-related conditions that resulted in hospital admissions for men – and it’s been that way since the 2008-2009 financial year.

The Achieve Trafford services provide bespoke drug and alcohol treatment based on individual needs.

The health scrutiny report said: “The service focuses on those who engage in harmful drug and alcohol use and there has been a significant increase in referrals for alcohol interventions, particularly in the period of emergence from pandemic associated social restrictions and lockdown.

“The service receives a significantly higher number of referrals for alcohol compared to other substances, opiates for example, and they have seen this continue through the pandemic.

“In the wake of the pandemic, there has been a sharp increase in demand for addiction treatment services.”

There was a particular spike in the number of people beginning alcohol addiction support services in June 2021.

Digital support options being recently made available has also increased the number of people accessing support, 'attracting and retaining groups who may not otherwise have accessed services'.

The links between substance abuse and mental health struggles was also outlined.

The borough’s experts added in the report: “The past 18 months have been challenging for everyone, but many of those whose lives are affected by addiction and additional complexities, such as mental health issues, have faced particularly difficult challenges.

“Evidence suggests over 70 per cent of clients presenting to adult substance misuse services in Trafford report a co-existing mental health need.”

Alcohol or other substance abuse in Trafford’s younger population has been decreasing in recent years, but experts feel some opportunities to help more under 18s are being missed.

They added: “It is noted that referrals from Trafford schools are not always made, leading to missed opportunities to avoid pupil exclusion and provide early intervention and support.

“There is a cohort of young adults aged between 18 and 24 who drink problematically, but are not alcohol-dependent, have complex social or mental health issues, but do not qualify for support available from adult substance misuse services (as they do not meet the threshold), so a potential gap in provision exists for this group.”

The report concluded: “Drug and alcohol misuse are often intertwined with a range of mental health and social problems, including depression and anxiety, domestic abuse, housing needs, offending, rough sleeping, child abuse, adverse childhood experiences, loss, trauma and severe and enduring mental health problems such as schizophrenia.

“A priority for Trafford is to address the need for more integrated and holistic care for service users experiencing a wide range of complex problems.”