In March 2017, a report commissioned by Public Health England (PHE) on the levels of alcohol dependence in upper tier local authorities (UTLAs) was published.

Alcohol dependence is characterised by a strong and sometimes overpowering desire to drink, which may take priority over other previously valued activities and can be measured using the Alcohol Use Disorder Test (AUDIT) and Severity of Alcohol Dependence Questionnaire (SADQ) score.

The estimates are generated by applying the findings of the national Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2014 which includes AUDIT and SADQ scores, to local population estimates, taking into account variation in age, sex, deprivation, ethnicity and hospital admission rates.

The report and underlying data can be accessed here:

What does this mean for Richmond?

  • It is estimated that in 2014 there were approximately 1,400 adults with alcohol dependence potentially in need of specialist assessment and treatment.
    • It should be noted that there is considerable uncertainty around the accuracy of these estimates – the likely range is between 1,000 to 2,000.
    • The model suggests that the number of alcohol dependent adults increased by around 15 people between 2010 and 2014.
  • This represents 0.95% of the population aged 18 years and over, the lowest rate in London and the 11th lowest rate of all UTLAs in England.
    • The dependence rate is highest in males aged 25-34, at 2.3%.
  • Not all alcohol dependent adults are likely to be “amenable” to treatment – it is estimated nationally that only 57% wish to reduce their drinking, and only 41% intend to reduce their drinking.