HC Deb 26 March 1998 vol 309 c233W
Mr. Flynn

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have died in each of the past 18 years following heroin misuse; and how much was spent in each year to counteract(a) heroin misuse and (b) all illegal drugs misuse. [36253]

Mr. George Howarth

We understand from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) that the number of deaths from heroin during the period 1979–1992 were published by ONS in Series DH4 "Mortality Statistics": Injury and Poisoning" Numbers 6–18, copies of which are available in the Library. Deaths in the following four years are as follows:

  1. 1993: 52
  2. 1994: 88
  3. 1995: 130
  4. 1996: 186.

Data for the period 1993–96 are not directly comparable to those given for earlier years in the DH4 Series. Since 1993, deaths from misuse of drugs have included those certified as due to drug dependence and non-dependent abuse of drugs. Series DH4 included only deaths certified as due to Suicide, Accident and Undetermined injury.

Information on how much was spent in each year to counteract drug misuse, including heroin misuse, is not recorded. It was estimated in 1995 that at least £526 million was spent on tackling drug misuse across the United Kingdom in 1993/94, but that estimate appears not to have taken account of all Government spending connected with drug misuse. A more comprehensive estimate is being developed and will be published shortly.

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