Hospital admissions for drug-related mental and behavioural disorders2 in England dropped by 4% in a year - from 7,545 in 2016/17 to 7,258 in 2017/18, according to new figures published today by NHS Digital.
This is the second year in a row that the number of admissions for drug-related mental and behavioural disorders has dropped, falling 16% since 2015/16 when it reached 8,621.
Admissions are still 9% higher than 10 years ago – when they totalled 6,675 in 2007/08
There were 17,031 admissions for poisoning by drug misuse3 in 2017/18. This is 9% higher than the earliest comparable data in 2012/13 (15,580) but is at a similar level to 2016/17 (16,791).
Statistics on Drugs Misuse, England 2018 is an annual compendium which includes drugs misuse data on hospital admissions, deaths and the prevalence of drug use. Most of the data is for England only, but some is for England and Wales combined.
The report found that 74% of hospital admissions for drug related mental and behavioural disorders were for males, but the gender split was equal for admissions for poisoning by drug misuse (males 50%, females 50%).
Blackpool had the highest admission rate with 61 per 100,000 population admitted for drug related mental and behavioural disorders during 2017/18. Four of the 5 lowest rates (all below 3 per 100,000) were in London boroughs.
Blackpool also had the highest admission rate for poisoning by drug misuse with 101 per 100,000 population. Nine of the 10 lowest rates (all below 12 per 100,000) were in London boroughs.
The report also includes statistics on:
Data on deaths4 relating to poisoning by drug misuse registered in England and Wales during 2017 shows that:
- There were 2,503 registered deaths, which is similar to 2016 (2,596), but 38% higher than 2007 (1,809).
- The age group with the highest number of registered deaths was people aged between 40 and 49, accounting for around 1 in 3 (32%) of registered deaths for poisoning by drug abuse.
- Males made up 72% of the registered deaths and females made up 28%.
Prevalence data5 for adults covering England and Wales for 2017/18 shows that:
- 9.0% of adults aged 16 to 59 have taken an illicit drug in the year prior to the survey. The trend has been relatively flat since the 2007/08 survey (9.4%).
- For 16-to-24-year-olds, this figure rises to 19.8% which is similar to last year (19.2%) and 2007/08 (21.4%). Neither of these changes were statistically significant.
- Cannabis was the most commonly used drug, with 7.2% of adults aged 16 to 59 having used it in the last year.
- New psychoactive substances (legal highs) were taken by 0.4% of adults aged 16 to 59 and 1.2% of adults aged between 16 and 24.
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- These figures are for hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis of drug-related mental or behavioural disorders.
- These figures are for hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis of poisoning by drug that are listed as controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (includes both intentional and unintentional poisoning).
- Figures on deaths are drawn from the Office of National Statistics' publication: Deaths Related to Drug Poisoning in England and Wales statistical bulletin.
- Figures on prevalence are drawn from the Home Office’s Crime Survey for England and Wales.
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