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Drug Addicts

Volume 80: debated on Tuesday 11 June 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will elaborate on the information provided to the Home Affairs Committee on the number of narcotic drug addicts notified to his Deprtment during 1984.

Information for 1984 on notified drug addicts seizures of controlled drugs and drug offenders will be published in a Home Office statistical bulletin during the summer. Some provisional information on new addicts is, however, available now. This confirms the indications of the likely level of increase given in the recent Home Office publication "Tackling Drug Misuse: A Summary of the Government's Strategy", and in my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State's evidence to the Select Committee on Home Affairs. The provisional figure for new addicts notified during 1984 is 5,370 a 28 per cent. increase on 1983 (4,186). This was the fourth successive year in which there has been a substantial increase, although the increase was less than the 50 per cent. rise between 1982 and 1983. The table gives the provisional numbers of new addicts notified in each police force area in 1984. Corresponding figures for the years 1978 to 1983 are given in table 3.11 of "Statistics of the Misuse of Drugs, United Kingdom, Supplementary Tables 1983", a copy of which is in the Library. The proportion of new addicts who were reported as addicted to heroin, alone or with other drugs, was about 90 per cent. in 1984, continuing the steady increase in this proportion during the last six years—it was about 60 per cent. in 1978. Indications are that notifications of former addicts also increased by about a quarter between 1983 and 1984.

New narcotic drug addicts notified to the Home Office during 1984 by police force area
United KingdomNumber of persons (provisional)
ENGLAND
Avon and Somerset110

United Kingdom

Number of persons (provisional)

Bedfordshire40
Cambridgeshire20
Cheshire95
Cleveland5
Cumbria35
Derbyshire35
Devon and Cornwall30
Dorset25
Durham5
Essex80
Gloucestershire10
Greater Manchester215
Hampshire65
Hertfordshire55
Humberside25
Kent45
Lancashire110
Leicestershire15
Lincolnshire5
Merseyside480
Metropolitan Police District (including City of
London)2,400
Norfolk95
Northamptonshire20
Northumbria40
North Yorkshire5
Nottinghamshire20
South Yorkshire70
Staffordshire35
Suffolk10
Surrey60
Sussex135
Thames Valley95
Warwickshire20
West Mercia40
West Midlands75
West Yorkshire60
Wiltshire15
Total for England4,705
WALES
Dyfed-Powys†—
Gwent30
North Wales20
South Wales55
Total for Wales105
SCOTLAND
Central10
Dumfries and Galloway5
Fife5
Grampian10
Lothian and Borders165
Northern5
Strathclyde310
Tayside40
Total for Scotland550
Northern Ireland10
TOTAL FOR UNITED KINGDOM5,370
✶ Rounded to the nearest 5
† Less than 5.