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Why focus on alcohol....?

Helping an individual to address alcohol misuse has a positive effect on almost all other areas of rehabilitation, from being able to maintain a tenancy, physical and mental health which in turn improves motivation and the ability to engage in positive and purposeful activity.

A number of studies have linked alcohol consumption to crime. Although it is not a simple causal relationship, both offenders and victims have often consumed alcohol prior to the offence being committed.

For example, it has been estimated that alcohol contributes to:

  • 40% of violent crime
  • 78% of assaults
  • 88% of criminal damage
  • 70% of stabbing and beatings
  • 40% of all domestic violence incidents

High rates of problematic alcohol use are recorded among prisoners, with significantly higher levels found among those serving short custodial sentences.

  • two-thirds of sentenced male prisoners (63 per cent) and two-fifths of female sentenced prisoners (39 per cent) admit to hazardous drinking prior to imprisonment
  • 50% have a severe alcohol dependency.
  • 39% of short-sentence prisoners surveyed were classified as heavy drinkers
  • 25% self-reporting that they were drinking on a daily basis before entering custody

Levels of engagement with alcohol treatment services among repeat short-sentence offenders are often found to be low. This can be due to waiting lists for treatment programmes, movement of offenders between custodial estates etc. Furthermore, the provision of services for alcohol misusing offenders has been identified as being under resourced, with demand for services far greater than supply.

Research findings suggest investment in alcohol treatment services can yield significant cost savings across a range of agencies.

For every £1 spent on alcohol treatment services, £5 is saved elsewhere (across health, social care and criminal justice agencies).


If you want to find out how and where to access support for alcohol misuse of any level, use the search functions at the side of the page.


Alternatively, if you are an alcohol treatment provider that would like to register onto this site, please contact us.