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Death: Methadone

Volume 482: debated on Wednesday 5 November 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many deaths attributed to methadone addiction were recorded in London in each of the last five years. (232444)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 31 October 2008:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking how many deaths attributed to methadone addiction were recorded in London in each of the last five years. (232444)

The attached table provides the numbers of deaths for which the underlying cause was drug poisoning and methadone was mentioned on the death certificate either alone or together with other substances, in London government office region, from 2003 to 2007 (the latest year available).

The information collected at death registration does not specify whether the deceased was addicted to the substances mentioned as contributing to the death.

Number of deaths attributed to drug poisoning1 where methadone was mentioned on the death certificate, London government office region, 2003-072,3,4

Deaths

Methadone mentioned only

Methadone and other substances

Total mentions of methadone

2003

8

9

17

2004

19

7

26

2005

12

8

20

2006

28

11

39

2007

21

9

30

1 Cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10). Deaths were included where the underlying cause was due to drug poisoning (shown in following table) and where methadone was mentioned on the death certificate.

2 Based on boundaries as of 2008.

3 Figures are for deaths registered in each calendar year.

4 Where methadone was the only drug mentioned on the death certificate, and where methadone was mentioned with other substances.

ICD-10

Description

F11-F16, F18-F19

Mental and behavioural disorders due to drug use (excluding alcohol and tobacco)

X40-X44

Accidental poisoning by drugs, medicaments and biological substances

X60-X64

Intentional self-poisoning by drugs, medicaments and biological substances

X85

Assault by drugs, medicaments and biological substances

Y10-Y14

Poisoning by drugs, medicaments and biological substances, undetermined intent