The drug deaths that took place in England and Wales in 2020 are the highest since the record started in 1933. The total number of deaths is 4561, which is connected to drug poisoning. It is equivalent to the rate of at least 79.5% per million people.
The Office for National Statistics has said that about half of these would have taken place in 2019. However, there are some delays in the registration of the deaths. The majority will have occurred even before the pandemic.
The latest figure is showing the major difference between men and women and within the different regions. There is more than twice the number of drug deaths in men than women.
The highest rate of drug deaths which are having a connection to drug misuse, took place in the North East of England. At least 104. Deaths have taken place per million people. The lowest number that has been recorded is in London, where the figure is near 33.1.
The terms of the age for the higher rate is ranging between 45-49. The total death toll is3.8% bigger than the figure of 2019. In 2019, the death toll was 4393.
The ONS is also suggesting the falling increase to an aging cohort of drug users who are suffering from the effects of long-term housing. Also, there are new trends in taking certain kinds of drugs, which include gabapentinoids and benzodiazepines. Also, there is the prominent use of heroin and morphine.
The total number of deaths registered in 2020 is 2263. Among them, 777 deaths involve cocaine. There is a rise in the use of cocaine with about 10% in 2019. It is more than the quadruple number of the record as of 2010.
Last week Scotland reported more than 1300 deaths due to drug misuse. The government has said that it would set up a new unit to tackle drug misuse. Commenting on the ONS figures, the vice-chair of the addictions faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Dr. Emily Finch, said, “Years of cuts have left addictions services ill-equipped to treat people and prevent these deaths from rising.”
She added, “The government needs to wake up to the fact that cuts to services, disconnecting NHS mental health services from addiction services, and shifting the focus away from harm reduction to abstinence-based recovery is destroying lives and fuelling the increase in drug-related deaths.”