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Drug deaths: new statistics published

Posted: 9th September 2014 by Essex CRC.
Man holding a drugs syringe
Man holding a drugs syringe

National figures have been published by the Office for National Statistics which tell us about deaths related to drugs poisoning. They include comparisons between 2012 and 2013.


In 2013:

● 2,955 drug poisoning deaths (involving both legal and illegal drugs) were registered in England and Wales (2,032 male and 923 female deaths).

● Male drug poisoning deaths increased by 19% compared with 2012. Female drug poisoning deaths have increased every year since 2009.

● Male drug misuse deaths (involving illegal drugs) increased by 23%, from 1,177 in 2012 to 1,444. Female drug misuse deaths increased by 12%, from 459 in 2012 to 513.

● Heroin/morphine remain the substances most commonly involved in drug poisoning deaths. 765 deaths involved heroin/morphine in 2013; a sharp rise of 32% from 579 deaths in 2012.

● Deaths involving tramadol have continued to rise, with 220 deaths. This is almost 2.5 times the number seen in 2009 (87 deaths).

● There was a sharp increase of 21% in the number of drug misuse deaths in England, with no change to the number of these deaths in Wales. However, mortality rates from drug misuse were still significantly higher in Wales than in England.

● Male mortality rates significantly increased in three substance categories: heroin/morphine, benzodiazepines and paracetamol. Conversely female mortality rates remained relatively stable except for a sharp increase in the cocaine-related death rate.

● In England, the North East had the highest mortality rate from drug misuse (52.0 deaths per million population), and London had the lowest (23.0 deaths per million population).