§ Mr. Dobson
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give the Government's estimate of the number of herion addicts in each year since 1979.
§ Mr. Hurd
Because of the nature of the activity, it is not possible to make any reliable estimate of the total number of heroin addicts in the United Kingdom. Information on addicts notified to the Home Office in the years 1979 to 1984 who were reported as addicted to heroin, alone or in combination with other notifiable drugs, is given in table 11 of "Statistics of the Misuse of Drugs in the United Kingdom, 1984", (Home Office statistical bulletin 23/85). Corresponding figures for 1985 will be published shortly. Some research carried out in 1981 in two urban areas in England suggested that the number of notified addicts was about one fifth of the actual number of opioid addicts in the local population at that time. Researchers believe that there are considerable local variations in such "multipliers" and that they may also change rapidly over time.