HC Deb 27 March 1985 vol 76 cc246-7W
Mr. John Fraser

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will give, for the latest year for which figures are available, the number of deaths in Great Britain where the cause of death or a contributory factor was (a) alcohol consumption, (b) tobacco consumption, (c) heroin consumption, (d) cocaine consumption, (e) cannabis consumption and (f) solvent abuse.

Mr. John Patten

Information is not available in the form requested. However, the tables give the available information for deaths in Great Britain in 1983 specifically associated with alcohol, heroin, cocaine and cannabis consumption. Limited additional information is given for deaths associated with alcohol consumption. Deaths from road traffic accidents are not shown, but it is estimated that about one road death in five (ie about 1,200 a year for Great Britain) occurs in accidents where at least one person had consumed alcohol over the legal limit.

The Royal College of Physicians estimated in 1981 that at least 100,000 deaths per year in the United Kingdom were related to smoking.

Exact figures of deaths associated with solvent abuse are not collected centrally but 77 confirmed cases were identified in Great Britain in 1983 where solvent abuse was either the underlying or a contributory cause of death. The statistics for England and Wales incorporated in these two totals were obtained from research carried out by St. George's hospital medical school.

Table 1

Deaths associated with alcohol consumption Great Britain 1983
ICD Cause of death Number of deaths
Deaths specifically associated with alcohol consumption
291 Alcoholic psychoses 8
303 Alcoholic dependence syndrome 211
305.0 Non-dependent abuse of alcohol 139
425.5 Alcoholic cardiomyopathy 27
571.0 to 571.3 Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, alcohol reported as cause 1,064
Other deaths
571.4 to 571.9* Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, alcohol not specifically reported as cause 1,551
Accidental deaths with any mention of alcohol (excluding road traffic accidents) †387
* Some deaths in this category are thought to be assocated with excessive alcohol consumption.
† England and Wales only. Data not available in this form from Scotland.

Table 2

Deaths from drug dependence or non-dependent abuse from heroin, cocaine and cannabis it Britain 1983
ICD Cause of death Number of deaths
304.0 Morphine type dependent 68
304.7 with other drugs 14
305.5 non-dependent 1
304.2 Cocaine dependent 1
305.6 non-dependent
304.3 Cannabis dependent
305.2 non-dependent

Table 3

Deaths from poisoning from heroin, cocaine and cannabis Great Britain 1983
Poisoning Heroin Cocaine Cannabis
Accidental 10 3
Suicidal 3
Undetermined* 1
* Whether accidentally or purposely inflicted.