Should NHS pay for treatment related to alcohol/drug use?

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_Yasemin_
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#1
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#1
Who's up for a debate?

Do you think that the NHS should have to pay for treatment for those who fall ill due to personal lifestyle choices such as drug use and alcoholism?
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ecolier
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#2
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#2
(Original post by _Yasemin_)
Who's up for a debate?

Do you think that the NHS should have to pay for treatment for those who fall ill due to personal lifestyle choices such as drug use and alcoholism?
No. Treatment should always be free at the point of delivery, that's the foundation of the NHS.

What if someone is genetically susceptible to even a tiny amount of alcohol?

How can you prove that the drug (well some drugs) is self-administered and not "spiked"?

Are you really going to investigate the cause behind every admission - everyone will deny willingly abusing drugs and alcohol to get out of paying.


And more importantly, the slippery slope effect means that once you start charging people for one thing you'll start thinking about doing it for others.

Where do we draw the line for other so-called "self inflicted" conditions? Obesity? Skiing injuries?
Last edited by ecolier; 3 years ago
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tazarooni89
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#3
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#3
I personally think that healthcare should be privatised and based on a system of compulsory insurance, where the government partially or fully subsidises it based on affordability criteria. The National Health Service (or a nationalised *pretty much anything* for that matter) is far too inefficient as it is. It's swallowing 10% of the country's entire GDP per year, and haemorrhaging that money from all sides, let alone the sole issue of self-inflicted ailments. And it's still under-resourced.

I've worked for both the NHS and in the private-sector, and have witnessed first-hand that when it comes to efficiency in terms of quality of service versus cost, there's just no contest.
Last edited by tazarooni89; 3 years ago
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McTosh
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#4
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#4
The cost of not treating would collapse the health system and skyrocket crime rates. So yes of course they should treat because it'd be society that would suffer if they didn't.

Saying that, I'm a former drug addict and alcoholic. My parents were on drugs while I was conceived and I suspect while pregnant too, I am extremely susceptible to addiction. I get addicted to EVERYTHING, no joke. I got no NHS help though I dealt with it myself. I just woke up one morning and decided I didn't want it and went through months of pure Hell forcibly withdrawing myself from everything.

I think point is you can't help people who don't want help in the first place. I always wonder if I could do it why none of these people can.
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Bang Outta Order
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#5
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#5
morally NO. realistically YES. The NHS is public and that means government, and the gov't is the reason why theres drugs so lets go gov, save us and clean up your ****ing mess.
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doodle_333
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#6
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#6
What counts as a lifestyle choice?

Alcohol and drugs ok...

Being overweight?
Underweight?
Not exercising?
Extreme sports?
Normal sports?
Driving accidents?
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username4412650
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#7
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#7
I think people should have to pay if they were driving under the influence of drugs / alcohol and crashed which broke their leg and need to have an operations. Or any injury that you acquired by breaking the law.
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lookhere
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#8
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#8
honestly if you paid for the drugs and alcohol you should say yourself out of it, not my problem as a tax payer
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lookhere
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#9
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#9
pay** not say
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tazarooni89
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#10
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#10
(Original post by doodle_333)
What counts as a lifestyle choice?

Alcohol and drugs ok...

Being overweight?
Underweight?
Not exercising?
Extreme sports?
Normal sports?
Driving accidents?
I think it’s quite easy to draw a line.

Lots of ordinary and necessary day to day activities like walking or driving carry a risk of getting injured or ill somehow. This risk is unavoidable, and indeed comes with the territory of simply existing. Furthermore, the majority of people who engage in these activities suffer no negative health consequences at all, and it is completely unpredictable who will have an accident and who won’t. A deterrent from these activities is therefore not an effective way of solving the problem.

When it comes to alcohol, tobacco and certain drugs though, there is a big difference. They are bad for everyone, in all quantities. Rather than these activities being simply “risky”, they can be correctly described as voluntarily and unnecessarily poisoning one’s self. It is not an unreasonable to suggest that ideally, people could be refraining from these activities entirely (plenty of people do manage it, after all). Indeed this is why many governments are able to ban or heavily tax these activities, so that there is a deterrent against them.
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TonnyM
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#11
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#11
Most of the people do not become junkies and/or drunks for the sake of being a drunk. It usually happens as a result of another untreated issue. Type 2 diabetes is in most of the cases caused by sufferers themselves, it's a slow process and they know about it and are being told about it over and over again. So should be type 2 diabetes covered by NHS?
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doodle_333
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#12
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#12
(Original post by tazarooni89)
I think it’s quite easy to draw a line.

Lots of ordinary and necessary day to day activities like walking or driving carry a risk of getting injured or ill somehow. This risk is unavoidable, and indeed comes with the territory of simply existing. Furthermore, the majority of people who engage in these activities suffer no negative health consequences at all, and it is completely unpredictable who will have an accident and who won’t. A deterrent from these activities is therefore not an effective way of solving the problem.

When it comes to alcohol, tobacco and certain drugs though, there is a big difference. They are bad for everyone, in all quantities. Rather than these activities being simply “risky”, they can be correctly described as voluntarily and unnecessarily poisoning one’s self. It is not an unreasonable to suggest that ideally, people could be refraining from these activities entirely (plenty of people do manage it, after all). Indeed this is why many governments are able to ban or heavily tax these activities, so that there is a deterrent against them.
ItIt's really not that easy. Ok driving is part of every day life... and sports injuries are unpredictable... But I'd imagine a higher % of people doing really extreme sports are injured than those drinking/smoking weed in moderation. And by extreme sports I don't mean skiing or something I mean base jumping, free climbing etc. So it's objectively worse.

Also we know very well that being over or underweight is damaging to your health in a cumulative and dangerous way... same as smoking or drinking.

You're also totally forgetting people doing unhealthy things due to mental illness...

It's just impossible to draw a line.
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tazarooni89
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#13
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#13
(Original post by doodle_333)
ItIt's really not that easy. Ok driving is part of every day life... and sports injuries are unpredictable... But I'd imagine a higher % of people doing really extreme sports are injured than those drinking/smoking weed in moderation. And by extreme sports I don't mean skiing or something I mean base jumping, free climbing etc. So it's objectively worse.
Yes but there’s a difference. Participating in an extreme sport doesn’t automatically harm you, it merely carries a risk of harm (some higher than others). And your job as a participant in that sport is to do your best to avoid injury. The NHS is just your safety net.

Whereas alcohol, drugs and tobacco are harmful to you no matter what. You’re damaging yourself completely voluntarily and abusing the system by just expecting the NHS to clear up after you.

Also we know very well that being over or underweight is damaging to your health in a cumulative and dangerous way... same as smoking or drinking.
True. I don’t think this falls into the same category as drugs and alcohol though.

Everyone needs food, we just have to balance the amounts that we’re eating to make sure we don’t fall dangerously overweight or underweight. Finding that balance may be difficult for some people.

On the other hand, we don’t need drugs and alcohol at all. Any amount is bad for you. Finding the optimal amount isn’t difficult at all - it’s zero.

You're also totally forgetting people doing unhealthy things due to mental illness...
Obviously people aren’t responsible for things they do purely as a result of mental illness.

It's just impossible to draw a line.
It’s not impossible to draw a line at all. I’ve just drawn one. Each of the things you’ve mentioned fall clearly on one side or the other.

Perhaps what you mean is that it’s just difficult to enforce that boundary in practice.
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HighOnGoofballs
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#14
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#14
(Original post by ecolier)
No. Treatment should always be free at the point of delivery, that's the foundation of the NHS.

What if someone is genetically susceptible to even a tiny amount of alcohol?

How can you prove that the drug (well some drugs) is self-administered and not "spiked"?

Are you really going to investigate the cause behind every admission - everyone will deny willingly abusing drugs and alcohol to get out of paying.


And more importantly, the slippery slope effect means that once you start charging people for one thing you'll start thinking about doing it for others.

Where do we draw the line for other so-called "self inflicted" conditions? Obesity? Skiing injuries?
Just because the foundation of the NHS is free at the point of delivery since 1945, doesn't mean it cannot be changed. In fact, it's not even true! There are hundreds and hundreds of services that the NHS simply doesn't provide.
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HighOnGoofballs
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#15
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#15
(Original post by doodle_333)
ItIt's really not that easy. Ok driving is part of every day life... and sports injuries are unpredictable... But I'd imagine a higher % of people doing really extreme sports are injured than those drinking/smoking weed in moderation. And by extreme sports I don't mean skiing or something I mean base jumping, free climbing etc. So it's objectively worse.

Also we know very well that being over or underweight is damaging to your health in a cumulative and dangerous way... same as smoking or drinking.

You're also totally forgetting people doing unhealthy things due to mental illness...

It's just impossible to draw a line.
No, it's really not.

In the cast with extreme sports, they should have to purchase health insurance before engaging in such activities. The taxpayer should not be paying for some yobbo to drive a bike up a cliff.

In the case with mental health, it's therefore not self-inflicting, and as a result they should get free care and be put into a mental facility or something.

But at the end of the day, we can debate these finer points all day. I don't know why you're getting caught up on trying to draw a perfect line. Even if we choose an arbitrary line to draw, at the end of the day, it will lead to better outcome as we're saving money.
Last edited by HighOnGoofballs; 3 years ago
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Blackstarr
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#16
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#16
(Original post by _Yasemin_)
Who's up for a debate?

Do you think that the NHS should have to pay for treatment for those who fall ill due to personal lifestyle choices such as drug use and alcoholism?
No. They are self inflicting themselves with dieases knowing the consequences of their actions. Its their downfall and the NHS nor the taxpayers should suffer for them .
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the beer
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#17
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#17
(Original post by HighOnGoofballs)
In the case with mental health, it's therefore not self-inflicting, and as a result they should get free care and be put into a mental facility or something.
Won't that end up costing us far more? If they've caused themselves harm through addiction or stupid behaviour then it shouldn't be too hard to get that put down as a mental health issue, get treated for free, taken out of the workforce while being housed and fed for free.
Last edited by the beer; 3 years ago
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Miss Maddie
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#18
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#18
In the ideal world obesity, drugs, smoking, alcoholism, fighting, stupid risks etc... would all be charged. It's impossible to implement and manage. How do you prove an illness was caused by drug use?
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