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Drug Misuse

Volume 455: debated on Monday 8 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many incidents of drug misuse-related illness have been treated by the NHS in (a) Greater London and (b) England in each year since 2000. (104161)

It is not possible to identify all illnesses treated by the national health service which are due to drug misuse. Illnesses can be caused by or can be affected by drug misuse but we are not able to indicate this with all cases. Drug misuse related illnesses are not defined within one specific hospital diagnosis code.

National data from codes of primary diagnosis, which indicate the main reason for a patient's admission to hospital related to misuse of alcohol and/or drugs (both legal and illegal), or the results of that abuse and those that relate to maternal and fetal problems due to the use of alcohol and drugs have been placed in Library.

The following table provides details on the numbers of problematical drug users in structured treatment for 1998-99 and the subsequent years for which data is available.

1998-99

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

Number in structured treatment in England

85,000

1125,545

2160,450

3181,390

Numbers in structured treatment in London

n/a

22,165

27,692

32,629

1 48 per cent. increase on 1998.

2 89 per cent. increase on 1998, 27 per cent. increase on 2003-04.

3 113 per cent. increase on 1998, 13 per cent. increase on 2004-05.

Note:

The Department introduced a revised and more accurate methodology for counting the numbers in treatment, in October 2004. Figures are not available for the years 1999-2000, 2000-01, 2001-02, 2002-03 although the potential for providing estimates based on data collecting using the earlier methodology is being explored.