The number of drug-related deaths in Manchester has soared by 46% while the North West has risen by 28% – this makes the region the worst in England for an eighth successive year.
A total of 3,346 deaths in England last year were attributed to drugs poisoning and 2,248 for drugs misuse.
There were 414 in the North West, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics.
The mortality rate in the North West was the highest of any region in England at 60.9 deaths per million people, second only to the North East.
Here is a table of Greater Manchester’s mortality numbers:
The positive is that there has been a decrease in deaths in Bolton, Salford and Wigan but everywhere else however has suffered an increase, whether slight or dramatic.
The statistics also show a large number of ‘accidental deaths’ through drugs, with opiate overdose or poisoning (e.g. from heroine, morphine, methadone) being the most common cause.
And the number of male deaths (2,246) outweigh the women (1,100) by considerable distance.
Detective Inspector Sellars said: “We would strongly advise any persons using or experimenting with any type of drug who experience any adverse effects seek urgent medical assistance.
“I urge people not to take drugs, whether they are illegal or so-called legal highs, as they often contain poisons and illicit chemicals that can have potentially fatal effects.
“Taking drugs can have dire consequences and it is always very sad when someone dies from taking them. It does not only affect the person taking them but also family and friends.
“One of the worst tasks for a Police officer is having visit homes to inform families that they have lost a loved one. Families are left devastated.
“For more information on the devastating affects drugs can have on you and your family, visit the website talktofrank.com.”
The Manchester Mental Health and Social Care NHS Trust refused to comment on the new figures.
But speaking to MM last year, the senior public health development advisor for substance misuse, Colin Tyrie said: “The Trust is working closely with drug users to impart safety information and reduce the risks for those people who are at risk through lack of awareness around potential safety measures.
“We also are working to promote information and safety around drug use within the high-risk areas, such as in-patient mental health services and urgent care services.
“We are also providing GPs with information that they can relay to their patients who may have identifiable concerns around drug risks.”
Image courtesy of Urban Seed Foundation, with thanks.