RECORD-BREAKING drug and alcohol admissions at a Barnsley rehab clinic continue to rapidly soar - after it was revealed the town is now one of the worst-hit areas in the country.
Barnsley will receive more than £670,000 in funding for the town’s drug strategy allocation as well as an additional £54,000 to fund inpatient detoxification.
The town’s among the first wave of local authorities to receive Department of Health and Social Care funding due to having one of the highest levels of need - based on the local drug death rate, deprivation, opiate and crack cocaine prevalence and crime rates.
Linwood House, a 54-bed rehabilitation centre in New Lodge that opened in 2019 as Barnsley’s first private centre, has seen record-breaking admissions in the first half of 2022, the Chronicle can reveal.
Statistics from 2021 show for the whole year a total of 397 admissions were made - so far in 2022 there’s been 261 as the facility is set for more than a 31 per cent rise, with shocking figures likely to increase even further as admissions become more frequent.
Centre manager Andrew Selwood, who has been in post since May, believes there are a number of reasons for the rapid rise.
He told the Chronicle: “There’s so many different variants as to why we have seen a rise in admissions.
“Obviously there’s Covid and now restrictions have been lifted people are going out and connecting more with substances like alcohol and drugs.
“There’s many social factors that can be involved with it.
“I think sometimes we’re highlighting it more and people are more aware of anxieties and depression - that’s why we’re seeing an increase.
“At the moment we have 28 people and another two coming in.
“People are always coming and going which is what makes the dynamic really interesting.
“It’s massively important - and I can’t stress enough how important the impact of this is.”
Residents take part in a 14 or 28-day programme - with prices beginning at almost £7,500 for a month-long stay.
Shocking figures released by Public Health England revealed that 51 addicts already in contact with drug and alcohol treatment services in Barnsley ‘needlessly died’ over a three-year period.
Observed deaths in drug and alcohol treatment were 45 per cent ‘more than expected’ by the local authority, according to analysis of the figures by addiction treatment experts UK Addiction Treatment Group (UKAT), who run the rehab facility at Linwood House.
Data shows service bosses expected 35 fatalities from adults aged 18 and over in contact with treatment services between April 2018 and March 2021 but 51 deaths were observed and recorded.
As well as this, alcohol-related hospital admissions rocketed to record-breaking levels in the town as more than 6,000 residents required hospital treatment in just 12 months.
Nuno Albuquerque, consultant treatment lead for UKAT, exclusively told the Chronicle he hopes the funding from the Department of Health and Social Care won’t just be ‘smoke and mirrors’.
He added: “The extra funding for drug and alcohol treatment services in Barnsley is of course welcomed, but we hope it isn’t all smoke and mirrors.
“This money needs to be spent cleverly and with the addict in mind.
“There’s no point spending money to detoxify people from drugs only to leave them on their own straight after.
“Their body will no longer be addicted, but their minds will be.
“Consistent and immediate therapy and rehabilitation is required to ensure that this extra funding isn’t wasted and most importantly, to give the person in treatment the best chance of a life in recovery.”