This report presents the findings of phase one of the independent review of drugs undertaken by Professor Dame Carol Black. It provides a detailed analysis of the challenges posed by drug supply and demand, including the ways in which drugs fuel serious violence.
This review provides detailed analysis on the challenges around drug supply and demand, and notes that drug deaths are at an all-time high, the market has become much more violent, and drugs are costing society billions of pounds every year.
Among the findings are that:
- the illicit drugs market is a big business, worth an estimated £9.4 billion a year
- around three million people took drugs in England and Wales last year, with around 300,000 in England taking the most harmful drugs – opiates and/or crack cocaine
- drug deaths have reached an all-time high and the market has become much more violent – the total costs of drugs to society are estimated to be over £19 billion, which is more than twice the value of the market itself
- most illegal drugs consumed in the UK are produced abroad – the supply of drugs has been shaped mostly by international forces, the activities of organised crime groups and advances in technology
- the heroin and crack cocaine retail market has been overtaken by the county lines model, which is driving increased violence in the drugs market and the exploitation of young people and vulnerable drug users
Full detail: Review of drugs: phase one report
See also: Cross-government approach promised to tackle drug misuse following independent review
Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, Department of Health and Social Care, and Luke Hall MP | September 2019 | Drug related harms in homeless populations: government response
Document setting out the government’s response to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) report on reducing drug related harms in homeless populations, and letter from the Minister for Local Government and Homelessness to the ACMD.
Letter from Minister for Local Government and Homelessness
Drug related harms in homeless populations: government response
NHS Digital | August 2019 | Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use among Young People in England
The Office for National Statistics and NHS Digital have released the findings of the biennial survey of secondary school pupils in England in years 7 to 11 (mostly aged 11 to 15), focusing on smoking, drinking and drug use. The survey covers a range of topics including prevalence, habits, attitudes, and for the first time in 2018, wellbeing.
A summary report showing key findings, excel tables with more detailed outcomes, technical appendices and a data quality statement (Source: NHS Digital).
Full details are available from NHS Digital
This report from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) aims to describe the changing age profile of people accessing drug treatment. It provides an overview of the challenges faced by the ageing cohort in the UK, explains why current service regimens are not meeting the needs of this group and makes recommendations for practise and policy.
The past decade has seen a shift in the age profile of those seeking treatment for drug use. An ageing cohort, who have survived lengthy histories of heavy drug use, now account for an increasing portion of the treatment group in the UK and Europe.
This report from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) explores the specific issues for older people with a drug problem focusing on those who have had a drug problem for an extended period of time. It describes the health and social care needs of this population, and identifies effective services responses and best practice.
Full document: Ageing cohort of drug users
Public Health England|December 2018 |Safeguarding children affected by parental alcohol and drug use
Public Health England have released a guide for local authorities and substance misuse services to help them work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children (PHE).
Local authorities and substance misuse services can use this guidance to:
- understand more about parental alcohol and drug use and how it affects children
- understand the implications of Working together to safeguard children for substance misuse services
- improve joint working between local authority adult and children’s social care services and substance misuse services
- develop joint protocols between alcohol and drug treatment services and adult and children’s social care services (Source: PHE)
Full details are available from Public Health England
Public Health England has published the latest alcohol and drug treatment statistics, which are for April 2017 to March 2018
The report contains a wide range of data, which includes trends over recent years. This Public Health Matters article focuses on the following issues that this year’s statistics have shown:
- Alcohol treatment numbers are still falling
- Crack cocaine treatment numbers are still rising
- Better data on drugs and mental health problems
- Better data on parental substance misuse
- Housing and homelessness
All the data points towards treatment services needing to reach out to the most vulnerable people in their population and to make sure they are able to respond to changing patterns of need.
More information on the treatment statistics can be found in the report summary and in the full report, including all the data tables and charts.
Full article: What we’ve learned from the latest alcohol and drug treatment statistics
Full report: Substance misuse treatment for adults: statistics 2017 to 2018
Public Health England has conducted a rapid inquiry to better understand what was behind the fall in numbers of people in treatment for alcohol dependence in England. The report, ‘PHE inquiry into the fall in numbers of people in alcohol treatment: findings’ sets out findings from the inquiry as well as recommendations and next steps.
Public Health England | July 2018 | National intelligence network on drug health harms briefing: March 2018
Public Health England (PHE) has published a briefing based on a meeting of the national intelligence network (NIN) on the health harms associated with drug use. The NIN is made up of representatives from drug treatment services, local authority public health and commissioning teams and national professional and membership bodies. Network meetings are chaired by Dr Michael Kelleher, consultant addictions specialist and clinical lead for Lambeth Addictions at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (PHE).
The full guidance is available from PHE