ALMOST 1,500 people on the Isle of Wight are dependent on alcohol — but numbers have fallen.

According to the latest 2017/18 figures released by Public Health England, an estimated 1,487 adults are classified as alcohol-dependent, at a rate of 1.28 per 100 people, and require specialist treatment.

The number has fallen by 66 people compared with the previous year, following a steady increase since 2010, putting the Island in line with the national average.

UK Addiction Treatment (UKAT), which runs private rehabilitation clinics, said councils were 'lackluster' when it came to treating people for alcohol addiction.

UKAT treatment lead Nuno Albuquerque said: "Unfortunately, alcohol is just as harmful a drug as heroin, but a lot of people do not want to see it that way.

"Quite simply, greater investment in effective treatment facilities, accessibility and awareness will help lower the number of people in this community suffering with alcohol dependence."

The Isle of Wight Council's public health team currently commissions substance misuse services to work with people who misuse drugs and alcohol — which includes providing medical and behavioural support and detox facilities.

The council also provides funding for periods of rehabilitation off the Island.

A council spokesperson said: "We work closely with local partners in the police, probation and across health and social care to ensure this service offer is part of a coordinated response.

"This is part of a continued effort to improve drug and alcohol services on the Island, ensuring that people can access appropriate support for their wider needs and to sustain reductions in their substance misuse."