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Recent figures for drug and alcohol use in Sunderland are hard to come by. However, research by Liverpool John Moores University back in 2016/2017 gives a good insight into the prevalence of drug and alcohol use in the area. Their research estimated that the area had a rate of 9.2 adults per 1,000 of the local population who were dependent on heroin/crack or both. At the time, this equated to 1652 adults. When viewed against the average for England (8.85) then it is clear that the prevalence of use is higher than the average. 

For those who were opioid-dependent alone, the research suggested a rate of 8.32 per 1,000 adult population which is higher than the average for England at 7.37. For crack users, the rates were lower than the average for England at 3.97 per 1,000 as opposed to 5.10 per 1,000

Figures from the National Drug Treatment Monitoring Service showed, between 2018-2019 that there were 18,865 adults receiving treatment from local statutory drug and alcohol services. However, this is matched against figures of 19,597 adults (opioid dependent) who were not in treatment programs. This means 39.3% of adults, dependent on opioids, were not actively seeking treatment.  Completion rates, for those in treatment, were worryingly low with only 3.3% of those completing treatment remaining abstinent for six months. This was down from 4.8% the year before. 

 However, the successful completion of treatment ratio in 2018 was 0.62 in 2018; the 2nd lowest in the region and the 9th lowest rate out of the 150 upper-tier local authority populations. The latest figures show a decline in 2018 rates of opiate drug users successfully leaving drug treatment and not representing to treatment within 6 months at 3.3% in 2018 as compared to 4.8% in 2017.   

Statutory drug and alcohol services in Sunderland are provided

by Change Grow Live 

Riverview Health Centre
Borough Road Hendon
Sunderland SR1 2HJ

Washington Health Centre
The Galleries
Washington NE38 7NQ  

Houghton Health Centre
Church Street
Houghton Le Spring DH4 4DN


Tel: 0800 234 6798 


Despite what other websites will tell you, the northeast is poorly served by private rehab centers. A lot of companies advertise that they have centers just so you pick up the phone: trust me, they do not. To access treatment quickly, and cost-effectively, it will be necessary to travel, but not too far. You can call Paul, at any time. He has many decades of experience as an addictions clinician and has referred patients to most of the centres in the UK as well as providing locum services at private centres. 


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