Prolonged or regular drug misuse can cause short and long-term physical and mental health problems. Drug overdoses can result in permanent health damage or death. Some drugs are highly addictive and addicts are more likely to become perpetrators or victims of crime and experience a wide range of social problems, such as homelessness, relationship breakdown and unemployment. Those who use needles can put themselves at a higher risk of exposure to blood-borne viruses such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.
In 2015/16, it is estimated that around 1 in 12 (8.4 per cent) adults aged 16 to 59 in England and Wales had taken an illicit drug in the last year. This equates to around 2.7 million people.
In 2014, there were 2,248 deaths in England and Wales related to drug misuse; a 15 per cent on 2013 and 44 per cent higher than 2004. Deaths related to drug misuse were at their highest level since comparable records began in 1993.
In Herefordshire, the estimated prevalence of opiate and/or crack cocaine users was 8.2 per 1,000 population in 2014/15, lower than that nationally (8.6) and regionally (9.6), but not significantly so.
In 2016, 29.3 per cent of non-opiate drug users in Herefordshire who received drug treatment left treatment successfully and did not re-present to treatment within 6 months; lower than nationally (37.1 per cent) and regionally (35.4 per cent), but not significantly so.
In the same year, 2.4 per cent of opiate users in Herefordshire who received drug treatment left treatment successfully and did not re-present to treatment within 6 months; significantly lower than nationally (6.7 per cent) and regionally (5.7 per cent).
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 Statistics on Drugs Misuse: England, 2016, NHS Digital, 28 July 2016. https://digital.nhs.uk/catalogue/PUB21159
Last updated: Thursday, August 23, 2018