A new report released by the Office of National Statistics this week has revealed that avoidable mortality rates in England rose significantly in 2020 compared to 2019, with the increase being described as substantially more significant for those living in the least deprived areas of the country as experts warn of a ‘postcode lottery for life’.
The report shows that a staggering 40% of all male deaths in 2020 from the most deprived areas of England were avoidable. This is compared to just 17.8% of all male deaths of those who live in the least deprived areas. For female deaths, 26.7% of all deaths from the most deprived areas were avoidable, compared with just 11.9%, respectively.
The report highlights three leading causes of rises in avoidable mortality in 2020; the Covid-19 virus, drugs and alcohol and neoplasms (cancers).
Between 2001 and 2020, avoidable deaths for alcohol and drug-related disorders statistically significantly increased for males living in the most and least deprived areas and females living in the most deprived areas.
Detailed analysis of the avoidable mortality data by the country’s leading drug and alcohol treatment experts, UKAT reveals staggering rises in preventable deaths for alcohol and drug-related disorders.
UKAT’s data reveals that in 2001, in the five lowest deprived deciles (1-5), 3,769 male deaths were recorded as avoidable mortality due to alcohol and drug-related disorders. This avoidable mortality count rose by 33% to 5,019 in 2019 and rose again to 5,608 preventable deaths from alcohol and drug-related disorders in men in 2020.
Their analysis also shows rises in avoidable deaths for females living in the five lowest deprived deciles (1-5). In 2001, 1,597 female deaths were preventable due to alcohol and drug-related disorders. This avoidable mortality count rose by 45% to 2,315 in 2019 and rose again to 2,609 avoidable deaths from alcohol and drug-related disorders in females in 2020.
Nuno Albuquerque, consultant treatment lead at the UK Addiction Treatment Group, comments: ‘What our analysis shows is not a surprise. For some unknown and systemically wrong reason, people who live in areas of deprivation are deprived of the same level of sympathy, empathy, help and support as those who live elsewhere.’
‘We’re talking here about avoidable deaths, people who shouldn’t have lost their lives but because of the lack of support services and treatment options available to them where they live. Ultimately, this report paints the truest picture that helps for drug and alcohol abuse is a postcode lottery, and if you live in an area of deprivation, you’re unlikely to win.’
24/7 confidential help and support with drug and alcohol abuse is available on the UK Addiction Treatment Group website.