More than 200 homeless people with addiction issues in Bristol have sought rehabilitation after lockdown restrictions reduced their supply of drugs, an NHS team has said.
Normally the city’s rehab service would see 50 people see help between March and June.
Dr Mike Taylor from the Homeless Health Service said people had seen lockdown as an opportunity to get help.
Homeless people have been temporarily housed in hotels and hostels.
Since lockdown was imposed more than 400 people have been helped off the streets in Bristol as part of national efforts to “get everyone in” during the coronavirus pandemic.
They have been getting medical support by the NHS Homeless Health Service in Jamaica Street, in Stokes Croft.
Dr Taylor, the service’s lead GP, said: “The pandemic has meant there has not been the usual supply of drugs and so people are seeing this as an opportunity to get help for their addictions.”
He said some people with addiction problems had also been unable to shoplift or beg due to the coronavirus restrictions, leading to them seeking help.
“Having a roof over their heads has also provided homeless people with more stability which is supporting those who want to break addictions to drugs and alcohol,” he said.
“It is hard work keeping up with the demand and we have needed to call in extra support to help people who want to engage with the services but I am glad to see so many people who want to get help and I hope that it will continue after the outbreak.”