Investing in Drug Treatment in the UK

Drug use in the UK and the rest of the world has become a significant problem in the past few decades. Although the government has taken steps to reduce the number of people using drugs, there is a possibility that drug treatment centres may soon be receiving less attention. A shifting economic climate and budget cuts are threatening many drug treatment centres in a very critical period. The most recent data from the office for national statistics underline just how serious the problem is and just how bad it could get if left unchecked.


Statistics On Drug Use

Drugs and alcohol

In 2015, England and Wales registered more deaths due to drug poisoning than they have ever registered since these statistics were first recorded in 1993 by the ONS. Out of the 3674 registered deaths which were as a result of drug poisoning, 2479 were caused by illegal drugs.

Heroin/morphine related deaths were registered at 1201, the highest figure ever recorded and double the figure recorded three years earlier. Deaths due to cocaine reached an all-time high of 320 deaths. The age group of 30-39 registered the highest number of persons in these figures.

This increase in the number of deaths that has been seen to be on an upward trend is worrying many people. In an attempt to show people the seriousness of the situation, the National Treatment Agency also released data on the current addiction problem in the country.

According to information availed last year, 220,000 people were using drugs on a daily basis in England and Wales and the weekly figure was at 800,000. 1.8 million people also confessed to using a banned substance at least once every year. This means that at least 2.8 million people used drugs at that time and this number is likely to have risen in the time since.


The Changing Face Of Drug Abuse

Deadly life with drugs

Another cause for worry on the drug problem has been the changing landscape since certain drugs that were rarely used previously have registered a rise in popularity. While drugs like cannabis and LSD have fallen out of favour, drugs like ecstasy and cocaine are becoming more popular. In 2014, 5.4 percent of young adults confessed to having used ecstasy at least once. There has also been an increase in people trying out chemicals that are supposed to mimic the effects of banned substances- the so-called legal highs or designer drugs.


The Affected

Syringe with drugs

Drug treatment is an important issue and not just for drug users. Data released by the NTA indicated that the number of people who were affected by addiction extended even beyond their families. In 2012, 13.9 billion pounds was lost due to drug addiction and the figure keeps climbing each year.

The figures from the NTA also suggested that most people in Britain and Wales believed that using money for treatment of drug addiction is not only a good idea but could also increase security in communities around the country. With the current state of drug addiction, it is important that the country doesn’t relent in its efforts to provide treatment to drug users now more than ever.

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