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Drug Related Death Report Published

The Office for National Statistics have published the latest report on drug related deaths in England and Wales. The main findings were:

  • 4,393 deaths related to drug poisoning were registered in 2019 in England and Wales, equivalent to an age-standardised mortality rate of 76.7 deaths per million people; this is similar to the rate in 2018 (76.3 deaths per million) when there were 4,359 registered deaths.

  • Among males, there were 104.7 drug poisoning deaths registered per million in 2019 (2,968 deaths), and the female rate was 49.1 deaths per million (1,425 deaths); neither rates were statistically significantly different to those in 2018.

  • Males accounted for two-thirds of drug poisoning deaths in 2019, or 2,968 of 4,393 registered deaths, consistent with previous years.

  • Two-thirds (or 2,883) of registered drug poisoning deaths were related to drug misuse, a small fall since 2018 but not statistically significant, accounting for 50.4 deaths per million people in 2019.

  • The North East had a statistically significantly higher rate of deaths relating to drug misuse than all other English regions (95.0 deaths per million people); East of England had the lowest rate (33.6 deaths per million people).

  • Since the 2018 registration year, there were no statistically significant changes to age-standardised rates of any specific drug mentioned on the death certificate, though deaths involving cocaine increased for the eighth successive year, by 7.7% for male deaths and by 26.5% for female deaths.

  • New analysis by deprivation shows that, in the last decade, rates of drug poisoning deaths have been higher in the most deprived areas of England and Wales compared with the least; this is particularly the case among those aged in their forties where rates reach peaks that are at least 5.5 times higher in the most deprived areas.

To read the full document in PDF format, click here.

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