Drugs: Misuse

Department of Health written question – answered on 9th February 2017.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Andrew Stephenson Andrew Stephenson Conservative, Pendle

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the number of deaths from illegal drug use.

Photo of Andrew Stephenson Andrew Stephenson Conservative, Pendle

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what representations he has received on trends in the number of deaths from illegal drug use; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Nicola Blackwood Nicola Blackwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

A small number of written representations have been received on trends in the number of deaths from illegal drug use.

The Government is concerned at the rises in drug-related deaths and is taking action to prevent avoidable deaths. Public Health England (PHE) supports effective drug treatment in the community and in custody, which is known to reduce drug deaths. The Government has changed legislation to enable the easier distribution of naloxone, which is a safe, efficacious drug for reversing the effects of opioid overdoses. The Department has introduced a new Public Health Outcomes Framework indicator on drug-related deaths to enable local areas to benchmark their performance against others.

Following the report of the PHE supported inquiry into drug-related deaths in 2016, PHE and the Department are helping local authorities improve their drug-related death review processes, supporting an update to the United Kingdom-wide clinical guidelines for drug treatment, improving the sharing of intelligence on the adverse health effects of drugs, especially novel psychoactive substances, and working with treatment providers to develop guidance on how they manage risk factors associated with drug-related deaths.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No10 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.

Annotations

Darryl Bickler
Posted on 13 Feb 2017 4:03 pm (Report this annotation)

Whilst the subject of health harms caused by drug misuse is of concern, perhaps the parliamentarians concerned would be better charged with questioning how much harm is generally caused by current policy. The law (MDA), if it were applied lawfully would be neutral as to drug type, and include harms caused by alcohol and tobacco too for example. I wish all concerned would desist from making tragic errors of law; so-called 'illegal drugs' do not exist as legal concepts, and nor is the use of a drug a crime in itself.

The Act is a regulatory instrument when understood properly, and is currently not being operated as such, and this has made it unable to neutrally distinguish between people concerned with harmful drug misuse and other uses not actually the concern of the Act..