Skip Navigation

Statistics on Drugs Misuse: England, 2014

Publication date: 09:30 December 02, 2014


The consultation on the Lifestyles compendia reports has now closed. Please see the related link at the bottom of this page for more information.

This annual statistical report presents information on drug misuse among both adults and children. The topics covered include:

Prevalence of drug misuse, including the types of drugs used;
Trends in drug misuse over recent years;
Patterns of drug misuse among different groups of the population;
Health outcomes related to drug misuse including hospital admissions, drug treatment and number of deaths.

The report also summarises Government plans and targets in this area, as well as providing sources of further information and links to relevant documents.

The report draws together data from a variety of different sources and presents it in a user-friendly format. Most of the data contained in the bulletin have been published previously by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, the Home Office, the Office for National Statistics or the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse. Previously unpublished figures on drug-related admissions to hospital are presented using data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre's Hospital Episode Statistics (HES).

Key Facts

Drug misuse among adults

In England and Wales 2013-14:

  • Around 1 in 11 adults aged 16 to 59 (8.8 per cent) had taken an illicit drug in the last year. However, this proportion more than doubled when looking at the age subgroup of 16 to 24 year-olds (18.9 per cent). These figures are an increase from 2012-13 when 8.1 per cent of 16 to 59 year-olds and 16.2 per cent of 16 to 24 year-olds had taken an illicit drug in the last year. However, both figures are lower than they were in 1996.

Drug misuse among children (11 - 15 years)

In England 2013:

  • 16 per cent of pupils had ever taken drugs, 11 per cent had taken them in the last year and 6 per cent had taken them in the last month. This is similar to the levels of drug use recorded in 2011 and 2012. Although between 2003 and 2011 drug use amongst 11 to 15 year olds declined.

Health outcomes

In England 2013-14:

  • There were 7,104 admissions1 to hospital with a primary diagnosis of a drug-related mental health and behavioural disorder. This is an 8.5 per cent (555) increase from 2012-13 when there were 6,549 such admissions. Overall, between 2003-04 and 2013-14 admissions have decreased by 11 per cent (765) from 7,869 to 7,104.
  • There were 13,917 admissions1 with a primary diagnosis of poisoning by illicit drugs. Overall there has been a 76.7 per cent (6,041) increase since 2003/04 when there were 7,876 such admissions.
  • There were 1,957 deaths related to misuse of illicit drugs in 2013, an increase of 321 from 2012 when there were 1,636 such deaths. This is contrary to the downward trend since 2008 when deaths peaked at 2,004.

1 NHS hospital admissions data for 2013-14 are provisional.


Date Range: 01 April 2013 to 31 March 2014
Geographical coverage: England, Great Britain, England and Wales
Geographical granularity: Country, Local Authorities, Regions, UK and Great Britain

Have a question? Call us on 0300 303 5678 or contact

Tell us what you think of the new website beta.

We use cookies to provide you with a better service. Carry on browsing if you're happy with this, or find out how to manage cookies. Find out more