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Drug-related deaths in England and Wales hit record highs and deaths from cocaine are rising, according to the ONS


Drug-related deaths in England and Wales hit record highs. Cocaine deaths are rising for the eighth year in a row, according to the ONS.

Official figures show that 2019 had the highest number of excavation-related deaths in the past 25 years.

According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), there were 4,393 deaths from drug poisoning last year, compared with 4,359 deaths in 2018, the highest since records began in 1993.

The figures show that the drug-related death rate for men was 104.7 deaths per million men, twice that of women, compared with 49.1 deaths per million women.

There were 4,393 deaths from drug poisoning in the past year, according to the ONS

While the majority of deaths were from opiates (2,160), deaths from cocaine increased by 7.7% in men and 26.5% in women for the eighth consecutive year.

Ben Humberstone, Associate Director of Health Analyzes and Life Events at the ONS, said, "The drug poisoning deaths recorded in 2019 remain at a similar level to 2018.

Almost half of all drug-related deaths were from opiates such as heroin and morphine.

"However, deaths from cocaine rose to their highest level for the eighth straight year."

The death rate in England and Wales reached 76.7 deaths per million people in 2019, compared with 46.6 deaths per million in 2012.

The drug-related death rate among women rose for the 10th consecutive year

The drug-related death rate among women rose for the 10th consecutive year

Three quarters of the registered deaths were due to accidental poisoning (3,321), followed by deliberate self-poisoning (941 deaths).

The remaining deaths were caused by mental and behavioral disorders as a result of drug use or substance abuse.

The female drug-related death rate rose for the tenth consecutive year, with the drug abuse death rate hitting a new high of 27.7 deaths per million.

Men accounted for two-thirds (2,968) of recorded deaths.

The Northeast's drug-related death rate was almost three times that of the region with the lowest rate in 2019.

There were 95 deaths per million people in the northeast, compared to 33.6 deaths per million in the east of England.

In the most deprived areas, rates have been higher over the past decade.

Cocaine deaths rose 26.5% for eight consecutive years

Cocaine deaths rose 26.5% for eight consecutive years

The death rates of people in their forties living in the most deprived areas were at least five and a half times higher than in the least deprived areas, according to the ONS.

Those born in the 1960s and 1970s, known as Generation X, had the highest death rates from substance abuse over time.

Professor Julia Sinclair, chairwoman of the Addiction Faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said drug-related deaths are preventable, but years of cuts have left services ill-equipped and underfunded.

She said: “The loss of addiction psychiatry skills due to the lack of apprenticeships and community services, often separated from the NHS, only makes matters worse as patients with multiple health needs are no longer given joint care.

Generation X has had the highest death rates from substance abuse over time

Generation X has had the highest death rates from substance abuse over time

"The tragic number of drug-related deaths should be proof that the government must invest heavily in addiction services before more lives are unnecessarily lost."

Laura Bunt, associate director of the We Are With You charity, said: “Problems such as increasing homelessness, poor mental health and lack of economic opportunities in some areas lead people to use drugs.

& # 39; It is therefore not surprising that drug-related deaths are highest in the UK's most deprived areas, with the effects of the Covid-19 crisis likely to exacerbate many of these problems.

"For people who already have problems with drugs, alcohol and mental health, these may intensify in the coming months."

James Nicholls, executive director of the Transform Drug Policy Foundation added, “After seven years of record death, the government must focus on keeping people alive.

"Current policies do not protect people or our communities, and are actively blocking actions that we know can reduce deaths."

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