Addiction services in England could struggle to cope with “soaring” numbers of people misusing alcohol, the Royal College of Psychiatrists is warning.
Many adults are drinking more since the coronavirus pandemic began, data shows.
The college estimates that in June, more than 8.4m people in England were drinking at higher-risk levels, up from 4.8m in February.
It says deep cuts made to addiction services could mean patients will miss out on life-saving care.
The rise in risky drinking comes at a time when more people addicted to opiates are seeking help from addiction services, says the college, referring to National Drug Treatment Monitoring System statistics showing 3,459 new adult cases in April – up 20% from