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Death: Methadone

Volume 483: debated on Tuesday 18 November 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many deaths attributed to methadone addiction were recorded in (a) Doncaster, (b) Barnsley and (c) South Yorkshire in each of the last five years. (236239)

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

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated November 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 (a) Doncaster, (b) Barnsley and (c) South Yorkshire in each of the last five years. (236239)

The attached table provides the numbers of deaths for which the underlying cause was drug poisoning and methadone was mentioned anywhere on the death certificate in South Yorkshire county 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.

Figures cannot be provided for the metropolitan districts of Doncaster and Barnsley as these data are judged to be too detailed to preserve anonymity in death statistics.

Table 1. Number of deaths attributed to drug poisoning1 where methadone was mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, South Yorkshire county, 2003 to 20072

Deaths

2003

6

2004

10

2005

7

2006

7

2007

12

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 the following table) and where methadone was mentioned on the death certificate.

2 Figures are for deaths registered in each calendar year.

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