The drug-related deaths figures for England and Wales in 2016 have been published by the Office for National Statistics.
A record number of drug-related deaths has been recorded with 3,744 people – 2,572 men and 1,172 women – being registered as fatally poisoned by both legal and illegal drugs, 70 more than the previous year and the highest number since comparable statistics began in 1993.
About 70 per cent of the deaths were a result of “drug misuse”, with the highest rate coming in the 40 to 49 age category.
Other key points include:
- There has been an increase in the rate of deaths related to drug “misuse” in Wales from 58.3 deaths per 1 million population in 2015 to 66.9 per 1 million in 2016; deaths in England have remained comparable between 2015 and 2016.
- People aged 40 to 49 years had the highest rate of drug “misuse” deaths in 2016, overtaking those aged 30 to 39 years.
- Over half (54%) of all deaths related to drug poisoning in 2016 involved an opiate (mainly heroin and/or morphine).
- The highest mortality rate from drug “misuse” was in the North East with 77.4 deaths per 1 million population, a 13% increase from 2015; the lowest rate (29.1 deaths per 1 million population) was in the East Midlands, which remained stable.