For details on how to contact our editorial and commercial departments, click here
Drug misuse death rate in region is twice as high as in London
THE North-East had twice the rate of deaths due to drug misuse last year compared to London, according to shock new figures.
For the first time the Office of National Statistics has analysed geographical variations in death rates from drug misuse.
This reveals that the regions with the highest mortality rates over the last five years were the North-East and the North-West while the region with the lowest rate was London.
In 2012 the mortality rate due to drug misuse in the North-East was more than double that of London (37.4 deaths per million population).
Only the North-West - with a death rate of 41 per million - had a higher mortality rate than the North-East.
Despite 149 deaths from drug misuse last year, reflecting the size of the capitals population, the mortality rate for London worked out at 17.2 deaths per million.
England as a whole had a death rate from drug misuse of 25.4 per million last year, compared with Yorkshire and the Humbers rate of 30.3.
The only comfort is that the rate for drug misuse deaths declined significantly across the whole of England between 2008 and 2012.
The worst year for drug misuse deaths in the North-East was 2009 when 130 deaths were recorded.
By 2011 this had fallen to 103 and last year there was a further drop to 93 deaths from drug misuse.
Nationally there were 2,597 drug poisoning deaths in England and Wales last year - involving both legal and illegal drugs - and the majority, just over two-thirds, of these deaths were in males.
There were 1,706 male deaths from drug poisoning in 2012, a decrease of four per cent since 2011 and the lowest since 1995.
The equivalent number of female deaths rose to 891 in England and Wales, an increase of one per cent sice 2011 and the highest total since 2004.
More than half of all deaths related to drug poisoning involved an opiate drug, usually heroin or morphine.
While deaths involving heroin or morphine decreased last year, deaths involving another opiate - called tramadol - have continued to rise.
There were 175 deaths involving tramadol in 2012 more than double the number recorded in 2008 (83 deaths).
Deaths from new legal highs, such as mephedrone, have increased from 29 in 2011 to 52 in 2012.
Comments are closed on this article.