While alcohol was the major sole factor, Mr Pitts said 70 per cent of admissions also listed it as “among their reasons for seeking treatment” and this demonstrated how pervasive alcohol dependence had become across society. It was also viewed as an “easily accessible, socially acceptable and relatively inexpensive drug to self-medicate life’s difficulties and challenges for older people”, he said.
Amphetamine-type substances including ice and ecstasy accounted for 21% of Odyssey House admissions in 2009 (23% in 2008), while heroin and cannabis each accounted for 18% (19% and 18% respectively in 2008).
Methadone accounted for 8% of admissions, while gambling and other drugs like benzodiazepines, buprenorphine, morphine and cocaine accounted for 9%.
Alcoholism remains a huge problem. Rehabilitation programs for those with addictions to alcohol continue to have success but they also continue to have plenty of people in need of treatment. It is not a problem that society has been effective at dealing with. While we have some success there remains much to do.