§ Paddy Ashdown
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his estimate is of the number of(a) heroin users and (b) registered heroin addicts in (i) Yeovil constituency, (ii) South Somerset and (iii) Somerset in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Ms Stuart
[holding answer 1 March 2001]: Information is not available in the form requested.
Information on the number of addicts in the Avon and Somerset police area notified by doctors to the Home Office as addicted to heroin during the years 1989 to 1996 is given in table 1 The index was closed from April 1997.117W
The regional drug misuse databases (RDMDs), which report to the Department of Health, are now the main source of information on persons presenting to drug treatment services with a drug misuse problem. The number of users presenting to drug misuse agencies (including both doctors and other agencies) in the Avon and Somerset health authority areas with heroin as their main drug of misuse in each of the six-month periods ending 30 September 1996 to 31 March 2000 is given in table 2.
The two sources of information are not directly comparable.
Table 1: Number of new drug addicts notified and number of addicts renotified to the Home Office as addicted to heroin during the year by police force area of addict, Avon and Somerset, 1989 to 1996 Year Number of new drug addicts Number of renotified drug addicts Total 1989 84 153 237 1990 122 149 271 1991 131 141 272 1992 210 155 365 1993 336 195 531 1994 514 359 873 1995 583 544 1,127 1996 745 688 1,433
Statistics of drug addicts notified to the Home Office, United Kingdom, 1996 Area Tables (Tables A5 and A6)
Table 2: Number of users presenting for treatment at drug misuse agencies in Avon and Somerset with heroin as their main drug of misuse during the six-month periods ending 30 September 1996 to 31 March 2000 Six-month period ending Avon Somerset Total September 1996 720 120 840 March 1997 747 142 889 September 1997 671 96 767 March 1998 624 99 723 September 1998 711 154 865 March 1999 997 79 1,076 September 1999 943 63 1,006 March 2000 1,118 73 1,191
Statistics from the regional drug misuse databases, Department of Health
Tackling drug misuse is a national priority for the NHS and its partners. Ambitious targets have been set and fully backed with additional new resources to prevent drug misuse and to enable those with drug problems to overcome them. Heroin is targeted in our anti-drugs strategy as one of the drugs which causes the most harm.