§ Lord HOUGHTON of SOWERBY
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What is the comparison between the estimated number of drug addicts and the estimated numbers of persons known to suffer from alcoholism.
§ Lord WELLS-PESTELL
At the end of 1977 2,023 people in the United Kingdom were known to the Home Office as being opiate addicts in receipt of narcotic drugs from medical practitioners in treatment of their addiction. But this is not a guide to the total number of people who abuse drugs of various kinds; the number of these cannot be reliably estimated. Conversely, while it has been estimated that something like 500,000 people in England and Wales may have a serious drink problem, it is not possible to say how many of these should be regarded as alcoholics.