LET’S TALK ABOUT DRUGS…
So what does the word “DRUGS” mean to you?
What do you imagine when you hear the phrase “WAR ON DRUGS“?
Why have governments launched this action?
What are the statistics?
Who benefits and who suffers?
Let’s start with Deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales, 2011
There were 2,652 drug poisoning deaths registered in 2011, and as in previous years, the majority of these deaths were in males. There were 1,772 male deaths from drug poisoning in 2011, a decrease of 6 % since 2010, and the lowest since 2006. However female fatalities rose to 880, an increase of 3 % since 2010, and the highest since 2004. In 2011 there were 1,605 drug misuse deaths. The number of male deaths decreased by 14 % from 1,382 in 2010 to 1,192 in 2011. However over the same period the number of female deaths rose by 3 % from 402 to 413.
Over half (57 %) of all deaths related to drug poisoning involved an opiate drug. In 2011, as in previous years, the most commonly mentioned opiates were heroin and/or morphine, which were involved in 596 deaths. In 2011 there were 486 deaths involving methadone (an opiate substance used to treat heroin addiction, which is sometimes abused).
There were 112 deaths involving cocaine in 2011. The male mortality rate was 3.2 deaths per million population in 2011, which continues a significant downward trend since the peak in 2008. The equivalent rates for females were lower than for males, rising slightly from 0.7 deaths per million population in 2010 to 0.9 in 2011.
Over the past few years a number of new drugs have been controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, including synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists, for example, ‘spice’, gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and its precursor gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), piperazines such as (benzylpiperazine – BZP and trifluoromethylphenylpiperazine – TFMPP), cathinones such as mephedrone, and pipradrols such as desoxypipradrol. The number of deaths involving so-called ‘legal highs’ are low compared with the number of deaths from heroin/morphine, and have been relatively stable over the last few years.
Deaths involving cannabis were also very low (7 in 2011) and usually involved more than one substance.
There were 293 drug poisoning deaths involving benzodiazepines in 2011.
There were 393 deaths involving antidepressants in 2011.
The number of deaths involving antipsychotic medication reached a record high of 104 deaths in 2011, which is a 20 % increase since 2010.
There were 207 deaths involving paracetamol and its compounds in 2011. The mortality rates for males and females were similar, and both increased slightly between 2010 -11.
Deaths involving Tramadol hydrochloride (a synthetic opioid analgesic) have increased steadily from the first recorded death in 1996 to 154 deaths in 2011. This increase in mortality may be partly explained by a 42 % increase in prescriptions for tramadol hydrochloride over the last five years.
I take Tramadol hydrochloride… for chronic pain.
But what about legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco?
And Tobacco? Who dies and who profits?
So over seven million people die each year from Alcohol and Tobacco use.
When does the WAR ON ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO START?