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National Statistics
Publication, Part of

Statistics on Drugs Misuse: England, 2016

Official statistics, National statistics
Publication Date:
Geographic Coverage:
England, Wales
Geographical Granularity:
Ambulance Trusts, Regions, Country, Government Office Regions
Date Range:
01 Apr 2014 to 31 Mar 2015


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 Previously unpublished figures on drug-related admissions to hospital are presented using data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre's Hospital Episode Statistics (HES).


Drug misuse related hospital admissions (England)

  • In 2014/15, there were 8,149 hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis of drug-related mental health and behavioural disorders. This is 14 per cent more than 2013/14 but only 4 per cent higher than 2004/05.
  • There were 14,279 hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis of poisoning by illicit drugs. This is 2 per cent more than 2013/14 and 57 per cent more than 2004/05.

Deaths related to drug misuse (England and Wales)

  • In 2014 there were 2,248 deaths which were related to drug misuse. This is an increase of 15 per cent on 2013 and 44 per cent higher than 2004.
  • Deaths related to drug misuse are at their highest level since comparable records began in 1993.

Drug use among adults (England and Wales)

  • In 2015/16, around 1 in 12 (8.4 per cent) adults aged 16 to 59 had taken an illicit drug in the last year. This equates to around 2.7 million people.

  • This level of drug use was similar to the 2014/15 survey (8.6 per cent), but is significantly lower than a decade ago (10.5 per cent in the 2005/06 survey).

Drug use among children (England)

  • In 2014, 15 per cent of pupils had ever taken drugs, 10 per cent had taken drugs in the last year and 6 per cent had taken drugs in the last month.
  • The prevalence of drug use increased with age. For example, 6 per cent of 11 year olds said they had tried drugs at least once, compared with 24 per cent of 15 year olds.


Last edited: 17 March 2022 3:05 pm