Prescriptions for drugs to treat alcohol misuse at 167,000 in 2020/21

The number of prescriptions in England in 2020/21 was 167,000, which is 1% higher than 2019/20 (164,000) but 15% lower than 2014/15 (196,000), according to the Statistics on Alcohol, England 2021 report released today.

The total net ingredient cost was £4.63 million for drugs prescribed for alcohol dependence in 2020/21, which is 2% higher than in 2019/20 and 33% higher than in 2014/15.

The report also includes previously published data from other sources, including statistics around alcohol-related hospital admissions, published in October 2021.

Drinking alcohol was the main reason for around 280,000 admissions to hospital in 2019/20, under the narrow definition. The number of admissions is 2% higher than in 2018/19. There were almost 980,000 admissions in 2019/20, under the broad measure, this is 4% higher than in 2018/19.

Other data in the report includes:

  • Prescriptions for drugs to treat alcohol dependence by region
  • Alcohol affordability and expenditure.


Read the full report 

Statistics on Alcohol, England 2021