This from the Drugscope website:
New figures on drug-related deaths published by np-SAD
08 October 2007
The National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths (np-SAD), hosted by the International Centre for Drug Policy (ICDP), today publishes its annual report on drug-related deaths in the UK.
The total number of drug-related deaths reported in 2006 for the UK was 1,752 which represents an increase of about 7 per cent over the number recorded by the same sources for 2005 (1,644).
The report contains information on drug-related deaths for the year 2006 reported by coroners in England, Wales and the Islands (Guernsey, Jersey and Isle of Man) as well as deaths recorded by the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency (SCDEA) and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.
Other key findings from the report include:
Commenting on the report findings, Professor Hamid Ghodse, Director of the International Centre for Drug Policy, St George’s, University of London, said:
- 77 per cent of those who died were male – this proportion rose to 81 per cent in Scotland.
- 75 per cent of those who died were under the age of 45 – this proportion rose to 90 per cent in Scotland.
- 74 per cent died at a defined residential address (mainly at home or at a friend’s house), 18 per cent died in hospital and 8 per cent died elsewhere (ie. in a public place).
- the proportion of those who died in Scotland who died in hospital was only 3 per cent compared to 23 per cent in England and Wales.
- the highest annual drug-related death rate per 100,000 population was recorded for Blackpool and the Fylde (19.4 in 2006, up from 12.8 in 2005) followed by Brighton and Hove (17.8 in 2006, down from 24.2).
- in Scotland the highest annual drug-related death rate per 100,000 population was recorded for the Strathclyde police area (11.6) followed by Grampian police (11.03). The lowest rate was for Dumfries and Galloway (2.5).
“The findings of this report indicate a slight decrease in drug-related deaths in England and Wales as well as in Northern Ireland during 2006. This is welcome news. However, there was a significant increase in such deaths in Scotland. Record figures for 2006 recently published by the General Register Office for Scotland underline this movement.
“There is the need for continued vigilance and constant monitoring of the drug-related deaths situation to ensure that the reasons for such trends are understood so that appropriate measures and interventions can be put in place to prevent avoidable deaths and save lives. Prevention of the loss of life at any age, especially of the young, due to the scourge of drug abuse has to be a priority for any government. ”