Swanswell calls for action as report highlights link between alcohol and dementia

21 October 2015

National alcohol and drug recovery charity Swanswell is urging the government to take action on alcohol dementia after a health watchdog advised people to avoid alcohol altogether to reduce the risk of getting dementia.

Dementia affects 800,000 people costing the UK £20 billion every year and research suggests one in ten sufferers could actually have alcohol dementia.

If diagnosed and treated correctly this preventable dementia is reversible in half of cases, but more government investment is needed for research to improve diagnosis and treatment of the condition. Although the government’s 2020 Dementia Strategy provides funding and resources it doesn’t specifically recognise alcohol dementia.

Chief Executive Debbie Bannigan said; ‘This report provides more evidence of the harm caused by drinking and the link between alcohol and dementia. Research shows that one in ten people suffering from dementia could actually have alcohol dementia costing the UK £2 billion a year and affecting 80,000 people. However, there’s no mention of alcohol dementia in either the government’s alcohol or dementia strategy.’

She added; ‘The government needs to invest in improved research, diagnosis and treatment of this preventable dementia. Swanswell has developed its own treatment model and we would be keen to see this piloted. However, tackling alcohol misuse is not something any single government, organisation or individual can do on their own – we all have a part to play by taking responsibility for our own alcohol use.’

 

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