Your UK Guide to Rehab: Helping you take control of your life.

For people with addiction problems, whether it is alcohol, drugs, gambling, work, social media, gaming or other mental health issues.

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How widespread is addiction?

Stats and facts

Substance abuse is more common than you might think throughout the UK.

For years, the Executive Rehab Guide has been providing free advice for individuals struggling to cope.

In England, there are an estimated 586,780 dependent drinkers (2017/18). A huge 82% of these people are not accessing treatment – whether that is down to denial, a lack of support or a lack of awareness of this support.

It is our mission to connect people who are suffering from substance abuse and co-occurring issues to the right treatments for their circumstance.

Call 0808 274 6351 to get help today

The hard facts

We are far from a society free from the triggers and stressors that allow addiction to become such a common illness.

In the UK, alcohol misuse is the biggest risk factor for death, ill-health and disability among 15-49 year-olds, and the fifth-biggest risk factor across all ages.

Additionally, in 2013, the Centre for Social Justice determined that the level of addiction in the UK made it the “addiction capital of Europe.

Along with being a society plagued by alcohol and substance dependency, we are a society plagued by misinformed stereotypes regarding those dealing with substance dependency.

In reality, addiction is a lot more common than we often believe and some of the most successful and seemingly happy individuals are dealing with these issues in private.

It is vital that we are aware of the true facts and figures regarding addiction, as this can help people realise they are not alone, and motivate them to ask for help.

Alcohol and addiction

Stats from Alcoholics Anonymous:

  • There are 4487 AA meetings in the UK
  • 3585 AA Meetings in England and Wales
  • 902 AA Meetings in Scotland
  • All meetings take place weekly
  • There are 591 English Speaking Groups in Continental Europe
  • The ratio of male: female membership is 60/40
  • Membership is estimated at between 33,000-40,000 in Great Britain
  • Over 3 million individuals attend AA meetings per annum
  • 64% of members stated they have been sober at least 2 years
  • 22% of members stated they have been sober for less than 6 months
  • 33% of members with less than 5 years’ sobriety are under 40 years of age

*all figures from the 2015 Membership Survey.

Discover more: Outpatient vs Inpatient Treatments

Addiction, fatality and NHS costs

  • 7% of adults in England regularly drink over the recommended Chief Medical Officer’s low-risk guidelines, while 2.5 million people report drinking over 14 units on their heaviest drinking days.
  • Alcohol misuse is the largest risk factor for death, ill-health and disability among 15-49 year-olds in the UK, and the fifth-biggest risk factor across all ages.
  • Alcohol-related harm is estimated to cost the NHS around £3.5 billion annually.
  • Alcohol is a causal factor in over 60 medical conditions. This includes mouth, throat, stomach, liver and breast cancers, high blood pressure, cirrhosis of the liver and depression.
  • In the UK, there were an estimated 1.1 million alcohol-related hospital admissions between 2014-15, where an alcohol-related disease, injury or condition was the primary reason for hospital admission or a secondary diagnosis. During this same period, there were 339,000 admissions for conditions directly caused by alcohol.
  • Males accounted for approximately 65% of all alcohol-related deaths in the UK in 2014.
  • The Office for National Statistics reported that in 2008, there were 2,928 drug-related deaths in England, heroin being the most frequent cause of death. Furthermore, there were 9,031 alcohol-related deaths. This is over double the rate from 1991. Click here to read more.
  • 2015 saw over 8,000 casualties from drunk driving, including 220 fatalities.

Learn more: NHS or private rehab?

Mental Health

It is often the mindset of an alcoholic or depressed person to hide their problem. Whilst they might recognise they need help, it does not mean they are ready to accept it.

Since addiction is more often than not accompanied by other mental health issues, thinking through these issues is an important aspect of fighting addiction and achieving long-term abstinence.

  • Mental health problems are one of the main causes of the overall disease burden
  • Alcoholics often take up substance abuse to help them cope with co-occurring issues
  • Mental health and behavioural problems (e.g. depression, anxiety and drug use) are reported to be the primary drivers of disability worldwide, causing over 40 million years of disability in 20 to 29-year-olds.
  • On average, 1 in 6 people in the last week have experienced a common mental health problem.

These stats are taken from the Mental Health Foundation site.


Of the estimated 595,131 people dealing with alcoholism in the UK, less than one-fifth receive help.

Of that one-fifth, 4-out-of-10 failed to complete their recovery program.

Where do I go from here?

The facts and figures can be overwhelming and confusing.

However, some things to take away are: addiction and substance misuse is extremely common, it is not your fault, and there is help available.

If you would like to know more about inpatient rehab, contact Castle Craig?

Our Helpline on 0808 231 1219

International calls +441721788001

Email Us.

Last Updated on January 10, 2024 by Ravi Kirthy