Men account for 80% of drug deaths

Men accounted for nearly 80% of drug-related deaths in 2006 in England and Wales, the NHS Information Centre has revealed.

Figures on drug misuse from the statistics body, issued yesterday, found just 21% of the 1,573 people who died in 2006 due to illict drug use were women.

Hospital admissions were also far higher among men, with 4,715 admitted to hospital, where the primary diagnosis was drug-related mental and behavioural disorders in England in 2006-7, compared with 2,019 women. 

Gender divide

The gender divide was also evident in access to structured drug treatment services, which were provided to 140,077 men and 55,387 women in England in 2006-7.

The information centre’s chief executive, Tim Straughan, said: “The fact that 1,500 people died due to drug use in 2006 is saddening in itself, but the fact so many of these deaths are male raises many questions about gender and drug misuse.”

Meanwhile, government substance misuse treatment body the National Treatment Agency has reported that a tool used to measure treatment outcomes has been assessed as fit for purpose.

The Treatment Outcomes Profile (Top) assesses treatment against 20 outcome measures for users, including the number of days in which they have shoplifted and sold drugs and their subjective rating of physical and psychological health.

200,000 profiles

Top was launched by the NTA in May 2007 and rolled out to drug treatment services in October 2007, since when the agency has received about 200,000 completed profiles from providers.

The tool was peer-reviewed for the September addition of the journal Addiction, after a study of 1,000 service users from 63 treatment organisations in England.

More information

Addiction journal

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