Drug And Alcohol Abuse In Birmingham, England

Also known as the City of a Thousand Trades, Birmingham is home to nearly 1.2 million residents, making it the United Kingdom’s second-largest city. In recent years, while Birmingham’s population has significantly increased, it has also seen an equally significant decrease in age. According to 2021 census data, while Birmingham saw a 6.7% increase in its population, it also became the youngest city in the whole of Europe, with nearly 40% of the population being under 25 years old.

Unfortunately, while Birmingham is becoming a younger, more vibrant city, it has also seen a dramatic increase in drug and alcohol abuse. According to the 2022 UK Addiction Report, Warwickshire and the West Midlands saw a nearly 56% increase in drug-related arrests. Additionally, between 2017 and 2019, Birmingham’s alcohol death rate increased to 14.5 per 100,000 people, significantly higher than the country’s average of 10.9.

Thankfully, the NHS and addiction specialists in the UK have taken steps to combat drug and alcohol addiction in recent years. Along with harm reduction efforts, Birmingham residents have access to effective and affordable treatment for substance use disorders, mental health conditions, and other behavioral health issues through privately owned or publicly funded facilities.

Featured Addiction Treatment Centres in the UK

Rehab Through The NHS

The UK has a universal healthcare system, meaning that all treatment, including treatment for substance abuse, is completely free of charge. This includes all medications associated with doctors’ visits, as well as all mental health counseling. However, it’s important to note that there are currently no NHS drug and alcohol rehabs in the UK. While the NHS does offer detox, outpatient, and many other completely free addiction treatment options, there are currently no residential rehabs funded solely by the NHS.

With that said, it is entirely possible to be referred to a privately owned residential rehab through the NHS, which would then be free. This does have its drawbacks, however, as the referral process can be lengthy, and patients may not have the ability to choose what facility they are admitted to. Additionally, most people who decide to get help typically do so when they are in need of immediate help, and a lengthy admissions process may not be ideal.

It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of NHS rehab before making any decisions on what treatment route to take. Some factors include the following.

Wait Times

As previously noted, wait times for care in the UK have been a factor for millions of people in recent years. According to NHS backlog data analysis, more than 6.48 million people were waiting for treatment in April of 2022. This is extremely important to note, as waiting for treatment can be dangerous at times.


Being able to choose what rehab you go to can be a major factor in the success of your treatment stay. Many people choose a rehab that fits their specific needs, whether that be location, staff, or the amenities that some rehabs offer. A referral through the NHS is done primarily based on availability, meaning you could be placed in a small rehab in the city or a luxury rehab in the countryside.


Part of the lengthy wait times that may be experienced when trying to obtain a referral through the NHS is funding. Due to increasing demand, staff shortages, and substantial government funding cuts to addiction treatment services for the NHS, referrals can be especially difficult to obtain.

How Much Does Rehab In Birmingham Cost?

The cost of any type of addiction treatment differs based on a variety of factors. These may include the type of substance use disorder being treated, what type of program you attend, and the overall length of stay. In terms of average cost, outpatient rehab programs will typically be less expensive than inpatient programs. For those looking to attend a private rehab facility, outpatient treatment centres may cost anywhere from £1,000 to £3,000 per month, compared to inpatient rehabs which may run anywhere from £4,000 to over £28,000 per month.

Additionally, the cost of addiction treatment can be more expensive for individuals under the age of 18, as these types of services may be more specialized and require more intensive care.

Finding Rehabs In Birmingham, England

Birmingham has no shortage of options for those looking for addiction treatment. From community-led organizations and support groups to resident rehabs, finding help for an addiction is possible. However, one of the hardest parts of getting help is the first step: reaching out. Whether you’re looking for help for yourself or a loved one, don’t take that first step alone. To learn more about what treatment options are available in your area and near Birmingham, browse the rehab directory today.