Coronavirus: Number of high-risk drinkers has 'doubled since lockdown' as millions more turn to alcohol
The number of people drinking at high-risk levels has almost doubled since just before the UK's lockdown, experts have warned.
An estimated 8.4 million people drank "high-risk" amounts of alcohol in June, compared to 4.8 million people four months earlier, the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) said.
The college has raised concerns that many addiction services would be unable to treat the "huge numbers" of high-risk drinkers after being "starved of funding" for years.
Dr Adrian James, the RCP's president, said the government needed to commit "substantial" investment in public health to prevent more lives from being "needlessly lost" to addiction.
A report by the college has called on ministers to reverse cuts and help local authorities work towards investing £374m into adult services to address the increased need for treatment.
Dr James said: "Addiction services have been starved of funding in recent years meaning many are not able to treat and care for the huge numbers of people who are drinking at high risk. Read Article from Sky news here
"More lives will be needlessly lost to addiction unless the government acts now and commits to substantial investment in public health, including adult addiction services, in the spending review.