LGA response to the latest drug-related deaths figures

3 Aug 2017 09:40 AM

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, responded to Office for National Statistics data around the number of deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales in 2016

"The record-high number of drug-related deaths is a major concern to councils and a worrying public health challenge. This is why nine in 10 councils now provide take-home naloxone, to tackle overdoses and opiate-related deaths in their areas, which may be a contributing factor to the number of heroin-related deaths remaining stable in 2016.

“The biggest challenge we all face is an ageing cohort of drug users, who have not previously sought or had any treatment. As a result, they are prone to an accumulation of chronic physical and mental health conditions that make them more susceptible to dying through overdose.

"Councils are committed to ensuring drug users get the right support and treatment, and spend more on drug and alcohol treatment than in any other area of public health. This year alone, local authorities are budgeting to spend more than £700 million on tackling substance misuse.

“But it is essential that we engage those not already in drug treatment. While latest estimates suggest there are about 200,000 people getting help, we must focus our efforts on reaching out to the 100,000 who are not.”

Notes to Editors 

Deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales: 2016registrations (Latest release)

The LGA’s survey of councils’ use of Naloxone