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Drug Addicts

Volume 447: debated on Thursday 8 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many registered drug addicts there are in each (a) local health authority and (b) ward in Northern Ireland, listed in descending order; what percentage of the total this represents in each case; and how much was spent on drug addiction services by each local health authority in 2004-05. (55547)

The Northern Ireland Addicts Index Database holds information on all those persons registered in concurrence with the Misuse of Drugs (Notification of and Supply to Addicts) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 1973. It is based on a specific list of drugs, not necessarily all those which are used by addicts, and is dependent on GPs and other doctors submitting the relevant information. It does not represent the full total of those currently in treatment for problem drug use in Northern Ireland. The latest figures from the Database shows that in 2004-05 there were 239 ‘registered drug addicts'. Their distribution by Health and Social Services Board (HSSB) is provided in the following table.

Registered addicts by Health and Social Services Board 2005

Number

Percentage

Northern HSSB

102

43

Eastern HSSB

97

41

Western HSSB

20

8

Southern HSSB

15

6

Total

1239

100

1 This figure includes five individuals for whom Health and Social Services Board data could not be established.

The data collected for the database do not facilitate description of those on the register by council ward or parliamentary constituency.

In respect of expenditure on addiction services, the four Health and Social Services Boards do not differentiate between those receiving treatment for problem alcohol and drug misuse and co-dependency (both substances).

For 2004-05 the four Health and Social Services Boards report expenditure on combined drug and alcohol addiction services as follows.

Health and Social Services Board

Expenditure (£)

Northern

1,501,412

Southern

766,935

Eastern

3,069,771

Western

1,836,715

Total

7,174,883