More alcoholics than ever check into Oxfordshire rehab

Figures reveal Covid-impact on local drinkers

By Matt Elofson
Monday, 14th September 2020, 9:48 am
Updated Monday, 14th September 2020, 9:51 am
UK Addiction Treatment Group's Banbury Lodge

More alcoholics than ever before have admitted themselves into a rehab in Oxfordshire during the four month peak of the Coronavirus crisis, figures from the UK Addiction Treatment Group have revealed.

The figures - discussed by ITV Meridian this week in an exclusive two-part feature into alcohol addiction during the Covid-crisis - show how, between April 1 and August 1, a staggering 87 per cent of all admissions into UKAT’s Banbury Lodge facility were for alcohol addiction.

In comparison, during the same four months of 2019, just 76 per cent of all admissions were for alcohol addiction.

Sign up to our daily Banbury Guardian Today newsletter

Between April 1 2019 and August 1 2019, Banbury Lodge admitted 169 clients into treatment, of which 128 were for alcohol addiction (76 per cent).

In the same four months this year, the same rehab admitted fewer clients overall (161) yet the percentage of those admitted for alcohol rose to 87% (140 clients), demonstrating the significant shift in people’s relationship with alcohol during the Coronavirus crisis.

UKAT’s Group head of treatment, Nuno Albuquerque, said: “The Coronavirus crisis has affected people in different ways.

"For some, a way of coping with the pandemic would have been to turn to alcohol, or to drink more alcohol than they did previously in order to feel calm about the unfolding and devastating situation happening across the world.

“But it’s important to remember that alcohol is a depressant and regular, heavy drinking interferes with chemicals in the brain that are key for good mental health.

"Feeling relaxed after a drink is short-lived, whereas over time, alcohol can have an impact on your mental health and can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety and worse still, it actually makes stressful situations like the Covid-crisis harder to deal with.”

It has been widely reported that more and more people living in the UK consumed more alcohol during the Covid-crisis than they did before. Unfortunately, this also led to higher alcohol-related fatalities. Being in lockdown and being isolated can contribute to people developing unhealthy relationships with alcohol.

Nuno added: “The last few months have forced people into isolation and to contemplate what is important to them.

"For some, drinking heavily was a way of suppressing feelings of worry, loneliness and fear, but for others, it was a time to reflect and to ask themselves if continuing to drink was the right thing for them.

“Thankfully, those people decided that enough was enough, and we’re seeing more and more people than ever before across Oxfordshire take that first brave step in investing in their health in order to protect their future, and asking for help with their alcohol addiction.”

For help with alcohol addiction near you visit