Addiction has risen sharply in the past eight months as the cost of living crisis bites, according to a study.
A YouGov survey commissioned by The Forward Trust found that almost a third (32 per cent) of adults have relapsed or know someone close to them who has.
Of those who relapsed, nearly two-thirds (61 percent) said the cost-of-living crisis was the most significant factor in their stress, anxiety and trauma.
Rising food and energy prices have put unprecedented economic pressure on households this winter, with CPI inflation currently at 10.1 percent.
The survey of more than 2,190 adults found that 6 percent of respondents have increased the amount they drink since the beginning of the cost of living crisis. A quarter of those who increased their alcohol intake reported problems such as lack of sleep and stress.
Mike Trace, Chief Executive of the Forward Trust, said: “Addiction is a serious mental health condition that can trap individuals, break up families, increase health, social and crime problems and reduce economic activity.
“Addiction is closely linked to other mental health conditions and so it is not surprising to see that as people struggle with the anxiety and stress of the cost of living crisis, they report relapse or turn to drink, drugs or gambling.”
The poll was published as part of Addiction Awareness Week, which will run until November 6.
Mr Trace added: “This awareness week is an urgent call for people to share the message that addiction is pervasive in our society, that people and families struggling with addiction deserve our compassion and support and that recovery is possible.”
Addiction charity ADAPT, which provides free essential support services to recovering addicts, announced on Sunday that it had seen a 75% increase in demand for its services over the past twelve months.