Brits killed by illegal drugs hits highest level since records began

The number of Brits killed by illegal drugs has hit its highest level since records began.

Deaths related to misuse of illegal drugs in England and Wales are at their highest level since records began in 1993, official figures revealed.

In 2014, there were 2,250 deaths related to the misuse of illegal drugs.

This was a rise of 15% on 2013 – 1,960 – and 44% higher than in 2004 – 1,570.

Men accounted for 72% of the deaths and women, 28%.

There were also 14,279 hospital admissions for illegal drug poisoning in 2014/15, up 2% on the previous year and up 57% since 2004/05.
This is in spite of a 10.5% fall in adult drug use over the same decade.

Leading health experts demanded urgent action from the Government to tackle the problem.

Shirley Cramer CBE, chief executive of the Royal Society for Public Health, said the new figures were a ‘stark reminder’ of the ‘continued failure of UK government drugs policy’.

She added: “Despite falls in use, more people are dying and suffering serious harm to their health from drug misuse than ever before.

Men account for nearly three quarters of deaths due to drug use

The number of Brits killed by illegal drugs has hit its highest level since records began.

Deaths related to misuse of illegal drugs in England and Wales are at their highest level since records began in 1993, official figures revealed.

In 2014, there were 2,250 deaths related to the misuse of illegal drugs.

This was a rise of 15% on 2013 – 1,960 – and 44% higher than in 2004 – 1,570.

Men accounted for 72% of the deaths and women, 28%.

There were also 14,279 hospital admissions for illegal drug poisoning in 2014/15, up 2% on the previous year and up 57% since 2004/05.

This is in spite of a 10.5% fall in adult drug use over the same decade.

Leading health experts demanded urgent action from the Government to tackle the problem.

Shirley Cramer CBE, chief executive of the Royal Society for Public Health, said the new figures were a ‘stark reminder’ of the ‘continued failure of UK government drugs policy’.

She added: “Despite falls in use, more people are dying and suffering serious harm to their health from drug misuse than ever before.

Health & Social Care Information Centre

“This is largely a result of a drugs policy that has over-focused on criminal justice at the expense of public health, pushing the most vulnerable users to the margins of society and discouraging them from coming forward for treatment and support.

Across the globe, many countries have started to turn this situation around by decriminalising drug use and moving towards policies based on public health and harm reduction.

“Given yet more evidence that harm to the public is increasing, the time is now right for the UK to adopt a new approach to drugs policy.
Thursday’s report by the Health & Social Care Information Centre also found that in 2014, 15% of pupils aged 11 to 15 had taken drugs.