Drug-related deaths have tripled in one year. In England and Wales, drug abuse and drug-caused deaths are increasing dangerously. According to The Guardian, the Office for National Statistics points the finger at the prescription painkilling drug Tramadol, which has caused 175 deaths so far; ministers plan to ban the drug, which has caused double the number of people to die from its “use.”
Official statistics indicate that “heroin and morphine are the most common drugs involved in drug related deaths, accounting for 579 in 2012.” Overall there is a decline in the total number of heroin deaths, which are partly attributed to the “heroin drought” and are partly attributed to prevailing treatment programs. The shortage of heroin has affected Britain such that the purity of street heroin has decreased from 46% to 15% – 20%. The public health authorities also note that the number of heroin and crack addicts has shrunk in recent years from 64,288 six years ago to 47,210 as of last year. The Office for National Statistics does mention that within the past 12 months there has been no official change as evidenced by the small variation in crime figures.
New psychoactive “designer” drugs sold online are quickly becoming a significant problem. A drug called “miaow miaow” which is a synthetic psychoactive amphetamine for example caused triple the deaths over one year. The designer drug has been banned by the British government and its use has declined. Official statistics also show a rise in deaths that involve ecstasy and amphetamines, which have increased by 37 percent over 1 year.
Prescription drugs have gone into recreational use with a terrible result. The prescription painkiller Tramadol has seen an increase in deaths of its user by 100 percent. “Annual drug-related death figures also show a small rise in cocaine deaths in 2012.” And finally antidepressants were show to cause an increase in deaths-by-users by 20 percent in 2012.