Dependent drug users

Topic Selected: Drugs

General Article icon Type: General Article

Estimates of the number of heroin and crack users in England fell from a peak of 332,000 in 2005/07 to 306,000 in 2009/10. More than half (172,139) are in community drug treatment and they make up 84% of the treatment population.

However, the number of adults newly entering treatment for heroin and crack use has fallen by 15% in two years. The number of 18- to 24-year-olds in this category has halved over five years. As the drug-dependent population ages, the over-40s have become the largest age group starting treatment. They tend to be entrenched users.
Drug-related deaths in England peaked at 1,697 in 2001, then stabilised. There were 1,625 in 2010. This flat trend is reassuring as the injecting population is growing older and more vulnerable. Dependent users in treatment remain less likely to die from an overdose than those outside.
February 2012

  • The above information is reprinted with kind permission from the National Treatment Agen

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