New figures highlight trends in drug and alcohol misuse

New figures published by Dr Foster in this week's BMJ outline drug and alcohol related harm in the population of England.

Researchers investigated trends in drug and alcohol related hospital admissions for people aged under 45.

In 2002-3 there were 18,863 admissions for mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol, 7,380 admissions due to controlled drugs, and 3,366 admissions for accidental self poisoning with alcohol or controlled drugs.

Although admission rates for mental and behavioural disorders caused by alcohol have remained relatively stable, admissions among young women (under 25) and children increased slightly. This is consistent with other findings of an increase in binge drinking in this group, say the authors.

Admission rates for mental and behavioural disorders due to use of controlled drugs decreased in people aged 15-24 but increased in those aged 25-44, consistent with reports of an ageing group of problem drug users.

There was wide variation in admission rates between primary care trusts, which could be due to a range of factors unrelated to levels of harm in the population, say the authors.

However, the differences in national trends between age groups may reflect real differences in the level of harm in the population, they conclude.


Contact: Emma Dickinson
BMJ-British Medical Journal

Page: 1

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