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Availability and prevalence

When any of these changes occur during a person’s life, their risk factors for addiction go up, and it is more likely that their casual use of drugs or alcohol will turn into something more serious. The culture that a person is surrounded with can also predict whether or not a person is at risk for substance abuse issues. A culture which is more permissive towards drug use, and one in which drugs and alcohol are readily available, results in a much higher likelihood of a person developing substance abuse issues.

In July 2021, the Department of Health and Social Care published the second part of a major independent review by Professor Dame Carol Black into the misuse of illegal drugs in England. A wide range of NDTMS data is available at the NDTMS website, including some data reports that are only available to local authority commissioners . The data collected includes information on the demographics and personal circumstances of people receiving treatment, as well as details of the interventions delivered and their outcomes. The number of people starting treatment for NPS has remained stable since 2017 to 2018 . Of the people starting treatment, 98% did so within 3 weeks of being referred to treatment. Twenty-nine percent of women reported either living with a child, or being a parent when they started treatment, compared to 17% of men.

  • Therefore, this study first examined the relationship between ACEs and drug addiction and then examined resilience and depression as potential contributors of this relationship.
  • Then the consequences of substance use should be explored, with emphasis on physical symptoms, relationship and employment problems, and emotional/psychological issues.
  • Numbers for people in treatment who said they had a problem with alcohol only are shown from 2009 to 2010 onwards when national alcohol treatment data collection started.
  • For all other individuals, they are categorised as ‘non-opiate only’, ‘non-opiate and alcohol’ or ‘alcohol only’.
  • Data from the NTA between April 2014 and September 2015 shows that 25% of prisoners began treatment on arrival.

Children Excluded from School – In SALSUS 2018, those who had ever been excluded were, for 13 year olds, five times and, at 15 years, twice as likely to have used drugs in the last month, as well as being more likely to have drunk alcohol in the last week. A number of individual-level risk factors have also been identified across the literature. It must be noted that these are shaped within the structural contexts described above. Caring Responsibilities – Among both age groups in SALSUS 2018, those who had caring responsibilities were more likely to have drunk alcohol in the last week and to have taken drugs in the last month than those who did not. A systematic review of the relationship between childhood socioeconomic position and ACEs concluded that there is a clear relationship between SEP in childhood and the risk of experiencing ACEs.

Sexual health

These women will be involved in a cycle of offending, imprisonment and exclusion. This additional resource contributes towards reducing the harm that illicit drug and alcohol use causes to the individual, their family and the community. Once detected, substance abuse during pregnancy confronts the physician with issues regarding treatment, management, and maternal and fetal complications. Some would describe pregnancy as a “treatable moment” for mothers who use and abuse substances.

This may also be linked to disordered eating such as binging and purging with laxatives but can also be codeine-based painkillers such as Nurofen Plus or Syndol. “Women generally tend to be the main caregivers for spouses, children and extended family, so there is a lot of responsibility on them which often leads to feelings of being unappreciated and overworked. We found that seven in every 100 people in the UK had overused OTC eco sober house complaints medication, such as Nytol and Sudafed, outside of alleviating symptoms. One in ten UK residents have overused prescription medication outside of a prescription, a problem we found split equally between men and women. The biggest prescription problem was found in Wales, London, West Midlands and Edinburgh. Men were 80% more likely to ever consume heroin than women, but pandemic use differs from this with the gap of just 20%.

You can find more detailed data on the drugs people had problems with in the accompanying data tables. The alcohol only group reported a fall in the number of days that they used alcohol in the last 28 days before their 6 month review, from 21.2 to 11.5. A third (33%) of people left treatment without completing it, while 12% left either due to unsuccessful transfers between services or the person declining further treatment. The number of people receiving treatment in inpatient and residential settings has continued to fall. In 2020 to 2021, there were 13,214 people in those settings, down from 15,161 in the previous year, a 13% drop. Almost all (99%) people in treatment received some form of structured treatment.

people at the highest risk of drug addiction are those who are

In fact, government research found that alcohol sales had increased 25% during lockdowns, despite pubs and bars being closed. Across healthcare, people who use drugs, as for any patient, should be provided with health screening and interventions that are appropriate to their age and health status. But people who use drugs may also need earlier and additional screening and interventions specific to the heightened risk of the many conditions that drug use causes or exacerbates. Services should be developing systems, and ensuring their staff have the skills, to identify high-risk times and indicators for overdose and suicide. And, having identified people at risk, they need to intervene, broaching the difficult question of suicide, stepping up treatment, providing access to other services.

Two cocaine couriers from Dudley in the West Midlands have been jailed for attempting to smuggle drugs worth around £1.75 million into the UK. Chemical Suspicious Activity Reports are made by companies in the chemical or related industries and alert UK law enforcement to the potential purchase of chemicals to manufacture illegal drugs. Several of the fugitives on our Most Wanted list have been convicted or are suspected of being involved in drug trafficking. Where fugitives flee abroad we work with international law enforcement partners to locate, arrest and return them to the UK to face justice. Working with partners such as Border Force, the Royal Navy, European and American authorities we have conducted several maritime operations to seize large quantities of drugs at sea.

Odds ratios and coefficients presented in this section show the strength of an association between being a victim of crime with drug misuse, symptoms of depression and anxiety, and personal well-being. However, as the data are cross-sectional, we are unable to explore causality, for example, whether being a victim of crime leads to symptoms of depression or whether experiencing symptoms of depression leads to increased risk of being a victim of crime. Alcohol and drug misuse in prisons poses a serious threat to staff and prisoners; through increased violence, health risks to those consuming the substances, and threat to the security of the prison. These effects also place pressures on the communities they are placed within and families and friends of prisoners at risk of being affected by organised crime . Alcohol and drug misuse in prisons also greatly reduces the ability to prevent or reduce reoffending and reform. Drug services should support access for their service users through effective pathways to physical and mental healthcare.

Finances are also a significant concern for those who become dependent on substances. Of the people we surveyed, 7% said that drugs and alcohol are leading to financial hardship while one in every 25 said it is impacting their career. Secondary healthcare services, in particular, need to make it easier for drug users to access their help. Here they can make contact with, screen and assess potential patients, and perhaps provide treatment on site and, ultimately, save lives.

Adult substance misuse treatment statistics 2020 to 2021: report

The estimated number of individuals with problem drug use in Scotland is 57,300 – almost 1 in 60 of our population aged between 15 and 64. You can find frameworks to help you plan and deliver problem drug use services, and find out about national strategies below. If you decide that inpatient treatment is the best option for you, our dedicated and experienced medical staff at Sanctuary Lodge will provide you with compassionate 24-hour care in a hospital environment. On average, inpatient rehabilitation lasts for between days, although there are no set time scales for opiate rehabilitation.

  • Stigmatising language perpetuates harmful stereotypes, and creates barriers to health and social services.
  • Care Experienced Children and Younger People – While relatively dated, a 2001 study of young people leaving care (14-24 years) in Glasgow found that 84% and 60% had used cannabis and ecstasy at least once, respectively, and 14% were drunk almost every day.
  • There were also decreases in the proportion of 11 to 15 year olds who had taken drugs in the last year from 20% in 2001 to 12% in 2012 and the last month from 12% to 6%.
  • The two-itemPatient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-2) and the two-item Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD-2) screener were used to screen respondents for symptoms of depression and anxiety respectively, in the last two weeks.
  • People in treatment for alcohol alone make up the next largest group (28%) of all adults in treatment.
  • Therefore, repeat exposures pose higher risks as some opiates are prescribed legally and are so in high dosages.

England has a well-established network of locally commissioned services that provide drug treatment. Needle and syringe programmes help to reduce the spread of these viruses caused by sharing injecting equipment. They have been a huge success story in the UK, and are credited with helping HIV rates among people who inject drugs to be as low as 1%. This is one of the lowest rates in the world and compares very favourably to many countries, including the US at 11% and Spain at 33%. The drugs joint strategic needs assessment support pack – updated annually – will help local areas to develop JSNAs and local joint health and wellbeing strategies, which effectively address drug use.

3 Trends in substance use

This seems to be particularly the case in men who find it hard to discuss feelings whereas women tend to enjoy a more emotionally intimate relationship. Leeds and Cardiff were most likely to consume cocaine within the last year, while Liverpool had the most overall use – as one in seven had used the drug. “Increasingly and certainly over the last 12 months, it hasn’t been uncommon that the pandemic has been cited by guests as part of what they have struggled with. Many guests have relayed that they were drinking heavily but just about functioning and then lockdown hit and working from home or struggling with covid related anxiety for instance meant they started drinking more than usual. While this comes as no surprise, as many drink alcohol socially, the findings confirm that alcohol is not just used in social situations. Alcohol is the most used substance out of all of the ones we surveyed the UK on, with one in two (49%) saying they have drunk it in the last year.

people at the highest risk of drug addiction are those who are

Of the 592 Surrey based offenders with violent convictions (e.g. Affray), 53% had an alcohol treatment need. Within this group 66% of domestic abuse perpetrators had been identified as having an alcohol treatment need. Of those offenders with a conviction of violence against the public (e.g. Grievous Bodily Harm) 57% had an alcohol treatment need. There is a general decline in prisoners entering prison with an opiate addiction which mirrors eco sober house boston a national trend of reducing numbers using heroin in the community, however, these prisoners are often highly complex, with severe mental, physical and health issues. Data from the NTA between April 2014 and September 2015 shows that 25% of prisoners began treatment on arrival. This is consistently higher among women (41%) when compared to men (27%) according to the HM Inspection which was carried out between April 2014 and April 2015.

Some studies also believe that children who have higher IQs are more likely to use psychoactive drugs such as marijuana, heroin and cocaine in their later years. One theory for this is that smarter people can intellectualise their drug use – which is different from rationalisation and denial. However, without definitive proof of causation this is a theory that remains based upon conjecture.

Drug Misuse and Treatment in Scottish Prisons

People who reported using substances other than opiates or alcohol tended to be younger. You can find more information about this in the ONS Drug misuse in England and Wales report. Over 51,000 people (56%) said they had smoked tobacco in the 28 days before starting treatment. Across all substance groups, the level of smoking for men and women was substantially higher than the smoking rate of the general adult population (15.9% for men and 12.5% for women).

Data from the Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime showed a dramatic incremental rise with age in the proportion of young people who said that most or all of their friends drank or took drugs. This may be increasingly due to ‘social norms’ as opposed to overt ‘peer pressure’. This report presents the findings of a rapid evidence review of prevalence and harms relating to alcohol and drug use among children and young people. Keeping people who use drugs alive and protecting their health are the most urgent priorities.

Surrey’s adult’s substance misuse treatment system performs well in supporting and working with people to leave care planned treatment successfully with no need to return to treatment in the future. This is measured by Public Health England, using the Diagnostic Outcomes Monitoring Executive Summary Quarterly report. There has been an overall decrease in drug use reported by 11 to 15 year olds since 2001 which has been reflected in a reduction in the number of young people in specialist services. For example, in 2012, 17% of 11 to 15 year olds had tried drugs at least once in their lifetime, compared with 29% in 2001.

  • You can also see how local areas compare on the numbers of opiate users and dependent drinkers who are not in treatment in the Public Health Dashboard.
  • By incorporating questions regarding substance use into one’s general history-taking template, one can diminish their novelty and put the patient at ease.
  • Notably these are the homeless and those living in certain institutions, such as prisons.
  • The culture that a person is surrounded with can also predict whether or not a person is at risk for substance abuse issues.
  • While TCSEW estimates are based on a large sample of the population, it should be recognised that levels of drug use are relatively low and violent crime is relatively rare.
  • Our study found that resilience played a significant mediating role with respect to ACEs, depression, and drug addiction .

Drug treatment services have to ensure that their services are attractive and accessible so that people come for treatment. They need outreach and low threshold services to make contact with people using drugs who don’t necessarily want treatment. And they need to provide the range of treatment options that people want (both abstinent and non-abstinent recovery, with peer support). This means that a range of drug treatment services can order naloxone from a wholesaler so that people engaged or employed in their services can, as part of their role, make a supply of the naloxone available to others without a prescription. PHE estimates that there will be an increase, over the next 4 years, in the proportion of people in treatment for opiate dependence who are likely to die from long-term health conditions and overdose. Investing in treatment services to reduce drug misuse and dependency will not only help to save lives but will also substantially reduce the economic and social costs of drug-related harm.

Men were almost 3 times more likely to die from drug misuse than females (65.5 and 22.4 deaths per million population for males and females respectively). The relationship between the wider determinants of health and substance misuse is complex; there is no typical drug user. Alcohol misuse means drinking excessively or more than the recommended limits for alcohol consumption. In the UK, the Department of Health has categorised types of drinking by level of risk. While it is not possible to say that drinking alcohol is absolutely safe, by keeping within the recommended guidelines, there is only a low risk of harm in most circumstances.


First and foremost it is safer to detox from drugs and alcohol with medical support. Men were more likely to have taken illegal drugs either ever or in the last year, while women had a higher overuse of prescription drugs such as Diazepam or Ritalin, and over the counter medication i.e. However, the most commonly used drug across all respondents was Codeine taken outside of a prescription. To find out more about the use of drugs and alcohol across the country, the addiction experts here at Delamere have surveyed 2,000 adults living in the UK on their consumption. During the pandemic, several reports have shown that alcohol and certain drug consumption increased, with many citing the pressure of the ‘new way of life’ as the reason.

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