News & Events

Drug use at lowest ever level

Date Posted - 30th July 2013

The Home Office has reported that drugs use now at lowest level since records began. The report published on 25th July 2013, Drug misuse: findings from the 2012 to 2013 Crime Survey for England & Wales, shows falls in people taking illegal substances, including Class A drugs and cannabis.

See full text of report here;

An estimated 8.2% of 16 to 59-year-olds used an illicit drug in the last year – compared with 11.1% in 1996, according to the report, Drug Misuse: Findings from the 2012/13 Crime Survey for England and Wales.

The proportion of adults who took a Class A drug has dropped from 3% in 2011/12 to 2.6%.

The statistics are based on results from the 2012-13 Crime Survey for England and Wales with interviews with around 21,000 adults aged 16-59

Public attitudes

New questions in the 2012/13 survey reveal the public’s concerns about drug-taking too. Almost four out of five (79%) of respondents thought taking cannabis was unsafe.

Two-thirds thought it was never acceptable to take cannabis and the vast majority said it was unsafe to take heroin, cocaine or ecstasy (99%, 97% and 97% respectively).

Jeremy Browne, Crime Prevention Minister, said:

"Today’s report shows drug usage in England and Wales is at its lowest level since records began. This, coupled with the record number of people leaving drug treatment programmes free from dependency, is really positive news."

Changing patterns of use?

The statistics raise questions as to whether drug users have shifted to other substances including alcohol, new psychoactive agents and over-the-counter drugs. The government is looking at one prescription drug, tramadol, which is widely abused in the prison estate, and is considering whether it's classification should be changed to one of Class C. 

Will treatment services meet the new challenges of shifting patterns of substance use?

Successful treatment providers

Delphi Medical is one of the key agencies raising the standard of substance misuse treatment in the UK, and helping more people into recovery. By working with people in prison, through the criminal justice system and into communities, we will help to deliver further future reductions in drugs in our communities.


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