§ Paul Flynn
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his estimate is of the level of participation of problem drug users in drug treatment programmes in each year since 1997. 
§ Ms Blears
I apologise to my hon. Friend for the delay in responding to this question. I refer my hon. Friend to the reply that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State gave my hon. Friend the Member for Blackpool, North and Fleetwood (Mrs. Humble) on 5 March 2002,Official Report, column 192W.
It is estimated that there were around 118,500 drug misusers in treatment in England in 2000–01 (from "Statistics from the Regional Drug Misuse Databases on drug misusers in treatment in England, 2000–01"); 823W comparable information is not available for earlier years. The number of users presenting to drug misuse agencies (including both doctors and other agencies) in England in each of the six month periods ending 31 March 1997 to 31 March 2001 is given in the table. Figures exclude treatment in prisons.
Number of users presenting for treatment to drug misuse agencies in England during the six month periods ending 31 March 1997 to 31 March 2001 Number March 1997 25,925 September 1997 21,996 March 1998 23,916 September 1998 28,599 March 1999 28,499 September 1999 30,545 March 2000 31,815 September 2000 33,093 March 2001 33,234
Statistics from the Regional Drug Misuse Databases, Department of Health