§ Simon Hughes
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many problematic drug users were in treatment in each of the last five years. 
§ Ms Blears
Information is not available in the form requested.
Following the closure of the Home Office Addicts Index in 1997, The regional drug misuse databases (RDMDs) were the main source of information on people presenting to drug treatment services with a drug problem up to 31 March 2001. Information on the numbers of users reported as presenting to drug treatment services for treatment in England is shown in the table.
A one-off exercise was carried out to estimate the number of drug users in England in contact with drug treatment agencies in 2000–01. Around 118,500 individuals were reported to be in contact with drug treatment agencies in England in 2000–01.
In April 2001 the national drug treatment monitoring system (NDTMS) was introduced. The figures from the NDTMS are not directly comparable with information collected previously for the RDMDs. However, provisional estimates are that the number of problem drug misusers who presented for treatment to drug treatment agencies and general practitioners in England in 2001–02 increased by around 8 per cent., over the previous year.983W
Number of users reported as presenting for treatment for drug misuse in England during the six months periods ending 30 September 1996 to 31 March 2001 Six month period ending Number presenting for treatment September 1996 24,879 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
Reporting to the RDMDs was voluntary; changes in the numbers may, at least in part, be due to changes in reporting practice.
The Department of Health series of Statistical Bulletins "Statistics from the Regional Drug Misuse Databases". Bulletins for the six months ending March 1998 onwards are available at http:// www.doh.qov.uk/public/work public health.htm
The Department of Health Statistical Press Notice "Provisional Statistics From The National Drug Treatment Monitoring System In England, 2QgVg2//http://www.doh.qov.uk/public/ spndruqsQ212. htm