Intended for healthcare professionals


Drug related deaths continue to rise in the UK

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 01 September 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3536
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

    The numbers of people dying because of poisoning from legal and illegal drugs are still increasing, warn two UK reports published this week.

    The latest figures for England and Wales from the Office for National Statistics show that the numbers of deaths recorded as being related to drugs have risen to their highest level since 2001. There were 2928 deaths from drug poisoning in 2008, 11% higher than the 2007 figure of 2640. More than two thirds (2075) of those who died were men.

    Almost a third of deaths where specific drugs were mentioned on the death certificate were related to heroin or morphine. These deaths numbered 897 in 2008―a rise of 8% from 829 in 2007 and the highest …

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