ONS stats reveal a rise in drug-related deaths


In response to Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures reporting a rise in drug-related deaths for 2022, APCC Joint Addictions and Substance Misuse Leads and Police and Crime Commissioners, David Sidwick and Joy Allen said:

“These are sobering figures, and the fear is that the dangers will grow with the widely anticipated rise in the risks from synthetic opioids in the next 12-18 months - although clearly other drugs such as cocaine and heroin themselves remain a constant and present danger.

“There is a national drugs strategy in place to address these combined threats – including forensics and detection as well as cross border activity designed to disrupt drugs and serious organised crime channels, and to deliver prevention, treatment and recovery.  This is supported by record investment of nearly £900 million of dedicated funding over the Spending Review period, taking the total investment over 3 years to £3 billion. There are also emerging means to reduce the number of overdose deaths through the use of naloxone which is being rolled out to police forces, prison and probation staff to administer, with strong support from PCCs, which has saved 350 lives to date.

“PCCs are working closely with local authority, health and other partners through their local Combatting Drugs Partnerships to address this threat, for example, by developing Local Drug Information Systems – an early warning approach -  but as these figures show, we cannot afford any complacency in the face of this ever-evolving threat.”


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