The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that the number of people who died from drug poisoning in England in 2014 was the highest figure since modern records began in 1993. The news comes shortly after it was announced that the number of drug-related deaths has also reached record levels in Scotland with 613 deaths occurring last year.
More than 3,300 deaths occurred because of drugs last year and of these, two-thirds involved illegal substances. Cocaine-related deaths rose from 169 in 2013 to 247 in 2014. Deaths from heroin and morphine increased from 579 in 2012 up to 952 in 2014.
Whilst overall there was a 17% increase in the drug misuse mortality rate in England, this figure fell by 20% in Wales. In 2013 there were 208 recorded drug-related deaths in Wales but this fell to 168 last year.
Prescription drugs are also becoming an increasing concern as people are incorrectly assuming they’re safe just because it has been prescribed to them. The figures reveal a completely different story however with 240 deaths caused because of Tramadol, 136 because of Codeine and 258 because of Diazepam in 2014 alone.
The statistics also revealed that men are 2.5 times more likely to die from drug misuse than females are. Somewhat surprisingly, those aged between 40 and 49 had the highest mortality rate from drug abuse. This was followed by people aged between 30 and 39 which dispels the common myth that drug-taking is mainly associated with the younger generation.
If you think that you or someone you know could have a drug addiction, please feel free to visit our Drug Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation page for more information about the signs, symptoms and treatments that are available.