Data from NHS Digital show an upward trend from 34,000 estimated cases of mental health and behavioural disorders to more than 81,000 cases from 2005 to 2016. Drug poisoning due to drug abuse have increased to more than 5,000 cases from 15,074 in 2005-2006, signifying a 51% increase in the number of drug admissions in the NHS.
According to the NHS Digital report, the number of drug admissions into hospitals may have increased and it is possible to have positively contributed as drug use continued to fall. The numbers were lower by 8.4%, a significant decrease that is equal to only 2.7 million people taking illicit substances. NHS Digital’s data also revealed that Blackpool had the most number of drug poisoning admissions.
Meanwhile, Liverpool had the highest number of mental and behavioural disorders caused by drugs. Briston was the lowest in this category. According to Drugs Policy Chief for the Royal Society for Public Health Ed Morrow, the admissions increases might be due to the decreasing funding for drug treatment services and huge public health budget cuts in the last few years.
Public Health England Director of Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco Rosanna O’Connor said the UK needs to “enhance its efforts” to enable even the “most vulnerable to get medical help.” A study had shown that young adults find it shameful to ask for help regarding their substance abuse due to the social stigma associated with it.