Drug-related deaths rising in Taunton Deane, figures reveal

Postado Agosto 07, 2018

Cocaine deaths have more than trebled in five years to their highest number since records began, according to figures published yesterday.

The number of people dying in England and Wales due to the synthetic opioid fentanyl rose by 29% in 2017, Office for National Statistics data shows.

The recent ONS stats revealed that deaths from the misuse of drugs were highest in the north; with north-east England having 83.2 deaths per 1 million people, compared to London 24.6 per 1 million people.

Last week Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said "hypocritical" middle-class users were behind the trend which is partly driving the increase in gangland killings.

"However, despite deaths from most opiates declining or remaining steady, deaths from fentanyl continued to rise in 2017 as did cocaine deaths which increased for the sixth consecutive year".

In total, 3,756 people died from legal and illegal drugs in England and Wales in 2017.

Meanwhile a global survey found that people living in England and Scotland could, on average, get cocaine delivered to their front door faster than a takeaway pizza. They were registered in 1,164 deaths in 2017 - however, this is down on 2016, and the first year-on-year drop since 2012.

Health issues relating to drug use have also been increasing.

The number of cocaine deaths rose from 371 in 2016 to 432 a year ago - but it is unsure whether these were down to the powder or crack.

And fatalities from so-called "legal highs", such as spice, reduced by more than a half in 2017, from 123 in 2016 to 61.

ONS health analysis statistician Ellie Osborn said: "The figures published (on Monday) show that the level of drug poisoning deaths in 2017 remained stable".

Last year, there were 2,521 male drug-related deaths and 1,235 female. The truth is that most drug related deaths are preventable.

Consultant addiction psychiatrist Dr Emily Finch told the Today programme there's been around a 30% loss in funding for drug and alcohol treatment services in the last 5-10 years.

"Being in treatment protects against deaths". "They are responsible for vulnerable people dying in droves", Martin Powell from Transform Drug Policy Foundation said.

"People who use opioids often have cumulative physical and mental health problems. Everyone deserves help, and we know that every person can recover with the right support".