The UK private rehab market is set to grow exponentially, one of the largest addiction firms in the country has said after receiving US investment.
Addiction treatment centres have reported increases in the number of people seeking help, and concerns have been raised that cuts to drug and alcohol services mean some addicts are being cut adrift.
UK Addiction Treatment Centres (Ukat), which runs seven treatment facilities in England and is the largest private addiction treatment firm in the UK by patient volume, said it had received investment from the US-based multinational corporation Eli Global following unprecedented demand for treatment.
The news will be seen as evidence of a shortfall in publicly funded rehabilitation facilities. Local authorities’ public health grant funding has been reduced by £531m between 2015 and 2020. Experts have said local drug and alcohol teams are not getting the funding they need, forcing increasing numbers of people to self-refer for costly treatment.
Paul Hayes, the chief executive of Collective Voice, an umbrella group of UK addiction charities, has previously said spending on drug and alcohol services has been cut by 25% since 2013, when the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse was abolished and responsibility for these services was placed in the hands of local authorities.
Ukat mostly helps people funding treatment themselves, with costs starting at £10,000 for three months. It advertises “luxurious rehabs” with en-suite rooms and gyms. Each Ukat facility admits on average 180 patients a month for substance, process and behavioural types of addiction.
The company said this number was set to dramatically increase as it planned to open more private addiction rehab centres.
Ukat’s directors and former addicts in recovery, Eytan Alexander and Daniel Gerrard, said: “The acquisition is a really positive move for Ukat as it will help us to grow at the pace we have wanted to for some time now. Unfortunately, addiction is something that doesn’t discriminate and can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime; we know that from our own personal experience.
“Our mission has always been to simply be there for those who need us, but for a while now the demand for our services has massively outweighed our ability to supply residential rehabilitation, detoxification and treatment.”
The UK has more drug overdose deaths than any other country in Europe, according to the European monitoring centre for drugs and drug addiction. Almost one in three of the continent’s overdose deaths – mainly related to heroin and opioids – occur in Britain.
Alcohol-specific deaths have risen in recent years, as have alcohol-related hospital admissions.
Brad Mullahy, of Yaras Group, part of the Eli Global portfolio of businesses, said: “We’re thrilled to have invested in the UK Addiction Treatment Group. They’re a business driven by their need to help those suffering with addiction, and they have done that very successfully for the last four years, and with our support will continue to do so.
“We only work with firms who offer a mission critical service and are backed by solid management teams and passionate leaders. Ukat fits that criteria and we expect nothing but continued success.”