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ONS: Deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales

Office for National Statistics (ONS): There were 4,561 deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales in 2020. This is the highest number since records began in 1993 and up 3.8% from the previous year.

Speaking on the rise in deaths related to drug poisoning, APCC Joint Leads on Alcohol & Substance Misuse, Joy Allen and David Sidwick said:

“We are saddened and disappointed to see such a significant rise in drug-related deaths in England and Wales.

“Drug addiction not only destroys the lives of the user, but also has wider and equally devasting impact on families and communities.  We know that some people with drug and alcohol problems are responsible for high volumes of crime, particularly acquisitive offending, and that treatment reduces offending, as well as addressing health and social issues and reducing drug-related deaths.

“Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) are committed to tackling drug misuse which includes delivering high-quality treatment and recovery services for those with addiction problems to improve rates of recovery, prevent premature death and reduce the demand for drugs, as well as overseeing the implementation of Dame Carol Black’s recommendations.

“PCCs are also working closely with their police forces and national organisations, including charities, to help disrupt the organised crime groups responsible for supplying drugs and all of the layers of criminality they bring with it – in particular, the exploitation of young people involved in County Lines.

“We will continue to work closely with councils and partners to provide treatment and support services as it is only by working together to tackle the underlying causes that we can prevent vulnerable people from dying.

In February 2020 the APCC published its ‘Alcohol and Drugs In Focus’ report, which included examples of multi-agency projects, some of which were award-winning, to tackle the issues of substance misuse.

Deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales: 2020 registrations

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