HC Deb 16 December 2002 vol 396 c668W
John Mann

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many deaths from heroin overdoses there were in(a) 2001 and (b) 2002. [82268]

Ruth Kelly

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Mann dated 16 December 2002: As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your question asking how many deaths from heroin overdoses there were in a) 2001 and b) 2002. (82268) The latest available figures for deaths related to drag poisoning1 in England and Wales are for 2000. The number of deaths in that year where heroin or morphine2 was mentioned on the death certificate was 926. 3; 1selected using the following codes from the International Classification of Diseases Ninth Revision: 292 (drug psychoses) 304 (drug dependence) 305.2–305.9 (nondependent abuse of drugs) E850-E858 (accidental poisoning by drugs, medicaments and biologicals) E950.0-E950.5 (suicide and self-inflicted poisoning by solid or liquid substances) E980.0-E980.5 (poisoning by solid or liquid substances, undetermined whether accidentally or purposely inflicted) E962.0 (assault by poisoning—drugs and medicaments) where heroin or morphine was also mentioned on the death certificate. 2 As heroin breaks down in the body into morphine, the latter is often detected at post mortem. For this reason, all deaths mentioning heroin or morphine have been included. 3 Source: Office for National Statistics (2002) Report: Deaths related to drug poisoning: results for England and Wales, 1993–2000. Health Statistics Quarterly 13, 76–82.

Forward to