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Attitudes to addiction in 2019


attitudes to addiction banner

At Port of Call, we spend our days supporting people who are affected by addiction and are seeking help and treatment.

We hear many worries as well as a mix of misconceptions, shame and secrecy around addiction and rehab, all of which stands in the way of people seeking support.

In a bid to open up a public conversation about how better we can support people in our society who are facing problems with alcohol and drugs, we carried out a survey to uncover public perceptions around addiction in 2019.

While some results make for uncomfortable reading, by shining a light on what people believe to be true about addiction – and highlighting the realities – we hope to further demonstrate to those in need of help that they are not alone.

The full results, including regional and city breakdowns, can be viewed here: Attitudes to addiction 2019.

‘One in five people believe they’d be sacked if they admitted to an addiction’

work and addiction

One in five people believe their current employer would terminate their contract if their performance was suffering and they admitted to an addiction.

What we say about the stats:

Port of Call founder Martin Preston said: “Most people who call us are in full time employment and don’t want their employer to know they have an addiction problem, often for fear of losing their job.  Addiction is shame-based illness and people can have a fear of being ‘found out’.

“We also take calls from employers who are trying to help a colleague, and often, even those with large HR and people teams, are unclear about what the firm’s stance really is.  Most organisations have a zero- tolerance policy around alcohol and drug use, which they require for health and safety, yet rarely have awareness of or access to specialist addiction treatment services.

“When approaching employers and asking them what they have in place, it’s a mixed bag, of course.  Some reference employee assistance programmes yet these rarely offer specialist help with addiction and tend to be limited to 6-8 sessions of outpatient therapy with a counsellor.  That’s not going to help the employee who’s become physically dependent on alcohol or substances and often feels like a tick box policy.

“Some firms, thankfully, are more progressive and we’re retained by a number of larger employers who genuinely want to help their people   If your employing more than ten people, addiction is an issue that you’re almost certain to encounter.

“If people think they are going to lose their job if their boss finds out they are struggling with addiction, they are not going to come forward for help or treatment and are unlikely to make any progress with it. This exacerbates the problem and the taboo and stigma around addiction.

“The longer these issues go on within a workplace, the more chance there is of reduced productivity, unrest within teams who cover and compensate for colleagues and risk something such as a serious error or accident occurring.

“Training and recruitment are significant costs to employers so if it gets to the point of having to replace an employee that is likely to be more costly than giving them the time to get help and get back on track.  What’s more – and what’s often not talked about is that employers have a duty of care to help if an addiction problem is apparent.”

Further explanation of the stats:

Our survey found that 23 per cent of the 1,002 respondents believed they would be sacked by their current employer if they admitted to an addiction after their performance had been suffering.

19 per cent of men believed they’d get the boot compared to 26 per cent of women.

The younger people are, the more likely they are to believe their employer would sack them for admitting to an addiction.

Of 156 respondents aged 16-24, 31 per cent thought their contract would be terminated in those circumstances.

Of respondents aged 25-34, 26 per cent thought they’d get the sack, as did 24 per cent of those aged 35-44 and one in five of those aged 45-54, with only 17 per cent of those aged 55 plus saying they thought their contract would be terminated.

A total of 22 per cent of respondents believed their employer would do something proactive to help if they admitted to an addiction.

These figures come despite widespread drug and alcohol use and significant levels of substance abuse.

Public Health England’s ‘alcohol dependence prevalence’ report, published March 2017, estimated 1.3 per cent of the adult population is alcohol dependent.

adult alcohol dependencies

“Shame stops people getting help with addiction”

people and addiction

Only one in four people say they’d be open about getting help for an addiction

“Half of 16 to 24 year olds would fear getting help for addiction due to worries over it going on their medical record and impact on job prospects”

38 per cent of people would be concerned to seek help for addiction due to fears of it going on their medical record and impacting future job prospects.

addiction and medical records facts

53 per cent of 16-24 year olds would be concerned to seek help for addiction due to fears of it going on their medical record and impacting future job prospects.

What we say about the stats:

Port of Call founder Martin Preston said: “Addiction is a shame based illness. What keeps people stuck is that they don’t talk about it. They think there’s something wrong about it or bad about them.

“This is why it is so important for all of us to start talking about addiction openly and dropping the judgement. The work of organisations such as Alcoholics Anonymous is vital, but that word ‘anonymous’ perpetuates this sense of needing to keep your addiction a dirty little secret.

“Addiction really is one of the last taboos. In reality, while it is often said that everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer – the same is true of addiction.

“Most people have a story about someone they know or cared about suffering. There may have been terrible moments of frustration with that person, perhaps sadness or even heartache. But, in every case I have ever heard about, the people around that person still loved them and just wanted them to get better.

“As with some of the other results of our survey it was really encouraging to see that the younger generation seems to be becoming more tolerant, more open and more able to see addiction is an illness and we need to support people to get the help they need.”

Further explanation of the stats:

Only one in four respondents to the Port of Call survey said they would not keep it a secret if they were getting help for an addiction.

We asked 1,002 people: “If you were getting help with an addiction, would you try to keep it secret?”

A total of 51 per cent of respondents said they either definitely would keep it a secret if they were getting help for an addiction or they possibly would, with 14 per cent saying ‘definitely’ and 37 per cent saying ‘possibly’.

In all, 24 per cent of respondents said they would not keep it a secret if they were getting help for an addiction.

A total of 25 per cent of respondents were either not sure or did not want to say.

The respondents aged 16-24 were the most likely to say they would not keep treatment for an addiction a secret, though the difference was not vast. Of that age group, 26 per cent of respondents said they would not keep it a secret if they were seeking help for an addiction – compared, on average, with 24 per cent of the older four age groups saying they would not keep it a secret.

When we asked: “Would you be concerned to seek help for addiction due to fears of it going on your medical record and impacting future job prospects?” – 53 per cent of the 156 16-24 year old respondents said they would, with 19 per cent answering ‘yes, definitely’ and 34 per cent ‘yes, probably.’

Those respondents aged 45 and over were least likely to say they would be concerned to seek help for addition due to fear of it going on their medical record or impacting future employment prospects.

Of the 175 respondents aged 45 to 54, 34 per cent said they ‘would definitely’ or ‘would possibly’ fear seeking help for those reasons. In that age group 41 per cent said they would not be concerned to seek help and 22 per cent were not sure.

Of the 338 respondents aged 55 plus, 28 per cent said they would or might be concerned to seek help for those reasons. In that age group 49 per cent said they would not be concerned to seek help due to those reasons. Almost 20 per cent of that age group was unsure.

‘People don’t realise how late in life most alcoholics get help’

Most people thought the most likely age for someone to be receiving alcohol treatment was 32 years old.

The official stats say…

The most common age for people receiving alcohol treatment was 45-49 years old*

*in England in 2017/18.

alcohol treatment stats

What we say about the stats:

Martin Preston, Port of Call founder, said: “I’m delighted when we get a call from a younger person because the earlier we intervene and they access treatment the less heartache and consequences.

“I got sober at 21 and it felt to me as if everyone else was in their 50s in rehab and AA. I feel extremely grateful that, unlike a lot of people when I was in treatment, I hadn’t lost a marriage, hadn’t lost a family. It hadn’t been something I had struggled with for 20 odd years.

“People tend to drink heavily for years then either hit a life event or crisis – retirement,  divorce or something else – and cross the line to alcoholism.

“For me, from the word go it was like I was bodily and mentally different to my brother, sister and mates who could drink successfully. My descent into chaos and consequences was quick, but for many, many others it is slow and very painful.”

Further explanation of the stats:

Of 1,002 people surveyed by Port of Call, the average age respondents thought people were most likely to receive alcohol treatment was 32.

Public Health England’s report ‘Adult substance misuse statistics from the National Drug Monitoring System’, April 2017 – March 2018 said the largest number of people in treatment for alcohol only (i.e not being treated for problems with other substances in addition to alcohol) was 45-49 years old. In total, almost 12 per cent of alcohol-only clients were aged 60 or over, compared with less than 3 per cent of the other drug groups combined.

For clients who had a problem with both alcohol and non-opiate drugs the largest group was 30-34 years old (18 per cent).

‘More than a third of people think men are more prone to addiction’

More than a third of people think men are more prone to addiction

The official stats say…

Almost 70 per cent of those in addiction treatment in England in 2017/18 were men

The rate of alcohol specific deaths in men is consistently double that of women

Hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis of drug related mental and behavioural disorders were 74 per cent men

What we say about the stats:

Founder of Port of Call Martin Preston said: “It isn’t my belief that men are more prone to addiction that women.

“Our experience is that women tend to be better at getting men who need help into treatment. We rarely get a call from a man worried about a woman yet we get lots of calls from women who want to help a man.

“I’d also question what addiction treatment services there are for women with children. Perhaps they are less likely to come forward for help. Certainly we get calls from men and women who are worried about what will happen to their children if they admit to an issue with addiction.”

Further explanation of the stats:

Of 1,002 people surveyed by Port of Call, 39 per cent said they thought men were more prone to addiction – 11 per cent said ‘yes, definitely’ and 28 per cent said ‘yes, possibly.’

One in ten women said they thought men were definitely more prone to addiction, whilst 12 per cent of men thought men were definitely more prone to addiction.

There are figures that indicate the majority of people in addiction treatment are men, the majority of drugs and alcohol deaths are among men and the majority of hospital admissions with links to drugs and alcohol are men.

Twice as many men die from alcohol as women

Since Office for National Statistics records on the topic of alcohol specific deaths began in 2001, rates of alcohol-specific deaths among males have been more than double those observed among females.

Alcohol-specific deaths among females in 2017 reached the highest rate (8.0 deaths per 100,000 females) since ONS records on the topic began in 2001, comparable with the highest rate last seen in 2008.

In men, 16.8 alcohol specific deaths per 100,000 were recorded in 2017, the highest since 2010, which saw an equivalent rate.

More men than women admitted to hospital for drugs related issues

More men than women were admitted for admissions for drug related mental and behavioural disorders, with 74 per cent of patients being male, according to NHS Digital’s statistics on drug misuse England 2018 (November update)

Equal proportions of men and women were admitted for poisoning by drug misuse, the report said.

It added that, of drugs related deaths, 72 per cent were men. The report estimated that 4.3 per cent of men show signs of drug dependency and 1.9 per cent of women.

Majority of people in drug and alcohol treatment are men

The adult substance misuse statistics from the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS), April 2017 to March 2018, published by Public Health England, shows that of all clients in treatment for opiates, non-opiates and alcohol, a majority were men.

Of the 141,189 clients receiving treatment for opiates, 73 per cent were men. Of the 23,730 in non-opiate treatment 72 per cent were men. Of the 27,684 clients in treatment for non-opiate drugs and alcohol combined, 73 per cent were men.

Of the 75,787 in treatment for alcohol-only (i.e not being treated for use of other substances as well as alcohol) 60 per cent were men. Whilst 40 per cent of those in treatment for alcohol-only issues were women, it is estimated females only represent 23 per cent of those in society who have problematic alcohol use.

‘Most people don’t realise alcohol is the biggest problem substance there is’

Only one in four people believe alcohol is the biggest problem substance now

The official stats say…

There are vastly more:

Hospital admissions due to alcohol than illegal drugs

Deaths due to alcohol than illegal drugs

People in treatment for alcohol abuse than illegal drugs

There were:

1.2 million hospital admissions where alcohol was a factor*

*in England in 2017/18.

Compared to

24,289 hospital admissions for drug issues*

*in England in 2017/18 (7,258 for drug related mental health and behavioural disorders and 17,031 for poisoning by drug misuse)

There were:

5,843 alcohol specific deaths*

*in England in 2017

Compared to

2,503 deaths related to poisoning by drug misuse*

*in England in 2017

Alcohol was the reported problem for 60 per cent of people presenting for drug and alcohol treatment*

*in England in 2017-18

What we say about the stats:

Martin Preston, Port of Call founder, said: “Alcohol will always be a significant problem because it is so readily available.

“Alcoholism affects men, women, professionals – doctors, lawyers, police. There are no stereotypes. It’s everywhere.

“One of our call handlers who is a recovering alcoholic tells a story about someone he met in recovery who had a drug addiction. They said to him ‘it must be so much harder for you because you walk down the high street and there are ten shops trying to entice you to have a drink. There aren’t ten dealers holding out cocaine to me’.

“It feels to me that drinking heavily is now happening less among younger generations, but because alcohol is there and available, I feel, regardless of trends, there will always be those who drinking becomes a problem for.”

Further explanation of the stats:

Only one in four people questioned in our ‘drugs and alcohol addiction perceptions’ survey believed alcohol was the ‘biggest problem substance in the UK now’.

A total of 58 per cent of people surveyed thought substances other than alcohol were the main problem in the UK (17.9 per cent either did not think there was a ‘biggest problem substance’ or preferred not to say).

Legal highs/new psychotic substances were believed to be the biggest problem by 16 per cent of respondents. Ten per cent of people thought opiates (including heroin) were the biggest problem, with an equal number believing crack cocaine was the main problem.

Nine per cent of people thought cannabis was the biggest problem substance in the UK right now.

Public Health England’s report ‘Adult substance misuse statistics from the National Drug Monitoring System’, April 2017 – March 2018, states that of the 127,307 individuals presenting newly to treatment in 2017-18, the most reported problematic substance was alcohol, with 60 per cent of people reporting a problem with it. Just over a third (34 per cent) of those people also had a coexisting drug problem.

Of those who were new to treatment, the amount of people who had reported problems with other substances was as follows: opiates, 32 per cent, crack cocaine, 21 per cent and cannabis, 20 per cent.

NHS Digital’s Statistics on Alcohol, England, 2019 report states there were 5,843 alcohol specific deaths in 2017. And in 2017/2018 there were 1.2 million hospital admissions where alcohol was a factor.

NHS Digital’s Statistics on Drugs Misuse England, 2018, report (published in November 2018), said in 2017/18 there was a total of 7,258 hospital admissions for drug related mental health and behavioural disorders and 17,031 hospital admissions for poisoning by drug misuse. There were 2,503 deaths related to poisoning by drug misuse, in 2017.

‘People think more men have a drink problem than is really the case’

Most respondents to the Port of Call survey believed 30 to 39 per cent of males drink at a level that puts them at increased or high risk of harm

The official stats say…

28 per cent of men drink at a level that puts them at increased of high risk of harm

male drinking risk stats

What we say about the stats:

Martin Preston, founder of Port of Call, said: “It’s interesting that perceptions are actually worse than reality in this case, but the fact is there are still a huge amount of people drinking at harmful levels.

“By no means are all of those people who drink at a harmful level alcoholics – or even likely to become alcoholics – but heavy drinking can develop into addiction and, for many addicts, there is a stage of denial where they convince themselves and everyone around them their behaviour isn’t out of control.

“Alcoholics will very often set all kinds of parameters that they drink within to convince themselves they have control – such as only drinking a certain brand of drink, only drinking at certain times of the day, only drinking on specific days of the week. An ability to drink within those parameters does not mean drinking has not become addictive.”

Further explanation of the stats:

Among both male and female respondents to the Port of Call survey, 30-39 per cent was the most popular answer to: ‘What proportion of men in England do you think drink at a level that puts them at increased or high risk of harm.’

One in five women believed 30-39 per cent of men drink to increased or high level of harm, while 16 per cent of male respondents gave that answer.

On average, respondents thought 40 per cent of men drink to increased or high risk of harm.

According to the Health Survey for England 2017, published in Dec 2018, the proportion of people drinking at increased or higher risk of harm (more than 14 units per week) in 2017 was 28 per cent of men and 14 per cent of women.

The Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines about drinking are that men and women should not regularly drink more than 14 units a week – a level that is considered to be ‘low risk’.

‘Increased risk drinking’ is drinking more than 14 units and up to 50 units a week for men, and more than 14 units and up to 35 units a week for women.

Higher risk drinkers are men who drink more than 50 units a week and women who drink more than 35 units a week.

While perceptions may be worse than reality, it is not to say there aren’t big problems with alcoholism and harmful drinking.

Public Health England’s guidance ‘Alcohol commissioning support 2019 to 2020: principles and indicators’, last updated in October 2018, says there are currently more than 10 million people in England drinking at levels that increase their risk of health harm.

The report says alcohol is a causal factor in more than 200 medical conditions – including circulatory and digestive diseases, liver disease, a number of cancers and depression – and 1.9 million adults in England drink at harmful levels (in excess of 35 units per week for women and 50 units per week for men).

The report considers how alcohol causes harm to others and says it is associated with family and relationship problems. It says alcohol was a component in 18 per cent of the assessments of children in need by children’s social care in England during 2016 to 2017. It states alcohol is a significant contributory factor in offences of violence and disorder including domestic abuse.

A Public Health England blog ‘How alcohol and drug treatment helps to reduce crime’,  concluded: “One of the biggest factors that influences whether a criminal will reoffend is their use of drugs and alcohol”.

A unit of alcohol explanation:

Single small shot of spirits * (25ml, ABV 40%) 1 unit

*Gin, rum, vodka, whisky, tequila, sambuca.

Bottle of vodka ( 700 ml, ABV 40 per cent) 28 units

Standard glass of red/white/rosé wine (175ml, ABV 12%) 2.1 units

Bottle of red, white or rosé wine (750ml, ABV 13.5%)  10 units.

Pint of higher-strength lager/beer/cider (ABV 5.2%) 3 units

Low risk drinking = no more than 14 units per week

‘Men are more likely than women to say they would ‘definitely’ date someone who had been through drugs or alcohol rehab’

16 per cent of men said they would ‘definitely’ be happy to get romantically involved with someone who had successfully completed drugs rehab…while only 8 per cent of women said they would

14 per cent of men said they would ‘definitely’ be happy to get romantically involved with someone who had successfully completed alcohol rehab…while 9 per cent of women said they would

What we say about the stats:

Founder of Port of Call Martin Preston said: “At the time people come to us seeking help with addiction, I don’t think their future dating prospects are something they’re thinking about.

“The issue to discuss here is probably for those in recovery and centres on when it is best to disclose that you’ve had a drinking or drug problem. We’ve found personally that bringing this into the conversation relatively early in a relationship prevents it from becoming a big issue and removes any risk of deceit.

“The answers do raise a question over whether people understand that recovery is possible in the long term. They may think once an alcoholic or addict always one and they are probably going to slip up again in the future – but that is absolutely not the case. I believe ten per cent of society could develop an addiction but not all do and others turn their nature towards more positive addictions such as a devotion to sport of strong work ethic.

“In addition to that, it’s worth considering that having gone through rehab probably makes you a better partner – more emotionally literate, in touch with feelings and good at listening as a result of the self evaluation process you’ve been through.”

More info on the stats:

Just over 40 per cent of the 1,002 respondents to the Port of Call survey (419 people) felt they ‘would definitely’ or ‘would possibly’ feel happy to become romantically involved with someone who had successfully completed drug rehab and was in recovery.

A total of 44 per cent of respondents felt they ‘would definitely’ or ‘would possibly’ feel happy to become romantically involved with someone who had successfully completed alcohol  rehab and was in recovery.

Men were more likely to believe they would definitely be happy to become romantically involved with someone who had completed drugs or alcohol rehab.

Sixteen per cent of men said they definitely would feel happy to become romantically involved with someone who had successfully completed drug rehab and was in recovery.

Fourteen per cent of men said they would definitely feel happy to become romantically involved with someone who had successfully completed alcohol rehab and was in recovery.

For women, the figures were eight per cent and nine per cent respectively.

Of the men surveyed, 32 per cent said they would ‘possibly’ be happy to become romantically involved with someone who had successfully completed drugs rehab. Of the women asked 28 per cent would ‘possibly’ be happy to do so.

A total of 60 per cent of women and 49 per cent of men either ‘would not’ or ‘were not sure they would be’ happy to become romantically involved with someone who has successfully completed drug addiction rehab.

There were 34 respondents who preferred not to answer the question.

‘Young people are more likely to think they’d be happy to date someone who had been through drug or alcohol rehab’

We asked: “Would you be happy to get romantically involved with someone who had successfully completed rehab?”

  • 53 per cent of 16 to 24 years old said they would ‘definitely’ or ‘possibly’ be happy to
  • While only 39 per cent of those aged 55 would ‘definitely’ or ‘possibly’ be happy to
  • 16 per cent of people aged 16 to 24 said would ‘definitely’ be happy to get romantically involved with someone who had successfully completed drug rehab..while 9 per cent of people aged 55+ would.

What we say about the stats:

Port of Call founder Martin Preston said: “It seems young people are more understanding that addiction happens and it is something you can recover from. It’s great news that perceptions are changing.

“Perhaps this will lead to people coming to treatment sooner, which means much less heartache.

“With all the awareness around mental health, counselling is much more acceptable now and maybe we are now seeing the level of understanding around addiction and rehab rise too.”

More info on the stats:

Of five age groups questioned in the Port of Call survey, 16 to 24 year olds were most likely to believe they would definitely or possibly be prepared to get romantically involved with someone who had successfully completed alcohol and drug rehab. Conversely, those aged 55 plus were least likely to do so.

Of the 156 respondents in the 16-24 age group, 53 per cent said they would ‘definitely’ or ‘possibly’ be happy to get involved with someone who had completed alcohol rehab. Half of those respondents said they would ‘definitely’ or ‘possibly’ be happy to get involved with someone who had completed drug rehab.

Of the 338 respondents aged 55 plus, 39 per cent said they would ‘definitely’ or ‘possibly’ be happy to get involved with someone who had completed alcohol rehab. Whilst 34 per cent said they would ‘definitely’ or ‘possibly’ be happy to get involved with someone who had completed drug rehab.

The amount of people who said they would ‘definitely’ or ‘possibly’ be happy to get romantically involved with someone who had been through alcohol rehab and was now in recovery were:

53 per cent of the 156 respondents aged 16-24 years old

41 per cent of the 163 respondents aged 25-34 years old

44 per cent of the 170 respondents aged 35-44 years old

48 per cent of the 175 respondents aged 45 to 54 years old

39 per cent of the 338 respondents aged 55 plus

The amount of people who said they would ‘definitely’ or ‘possibly’ be happy to get romantically involved with someone who had been through drug rehab and was now in recovery were:

50 per cent of the 156 respondents aged 16-24 years old

44 per cent of the 163 respondents aged 25-34 years old

45 per cent of the 170 respondents aged 35-44 years old

45 per cent of the 175 respondents aged 45 to 54 years old

34 per cent of the 338 respondents aged 55 plus

“Older people are most likely to think drugs are readily available in their area”

37 per cent of people aged 55 plus say drugs are definitely readily available in the area where they live

Whilst only 24 per cent of people aged 16-24 say drugs are definitely readily available in the area where they live

Only one in ten people does not believe drugs are readily available in the area where they live.

What we say about the stats:

Martin Preston, founder of Port of Call, said: “Certain drugs are more easily available in certain areas than others but, for people with addictive tendencies, there is always a substance that can become problematic.

“Alcohol is available everywhere, cannabis is accessible in most towns, cocaine is pretty available everywhere. For some substances people may need to travel a little further.

“We’ve been into schools and given talks about alcohol and drug use and we find pupils’ eyes turning to a particular individual as we speak. Already they’ve identified people at particular risk of developing problems. We need to be having these conversations about substance use with our kids as early as possible and helping them to understand addiction and the help that is available.”

Further explanation of the stats:

Only 10 per cent of all respondents to the Port of Call survey did not think drugs were readily available in the area where they lived.

Respondents in the East Midlands were least likely to believe drugs were readily available in their area, with only 18 per cent of the 67 respondents from the East Midlands saying they thought drugs were definitely readily available in their area.

Respondents the North East were most likely to believe drugs were readily available there, with 48 per cent of the 42 respondents from the North East saying they believed drugs were readily available in their area.

We found broadly that older people were most likely to say they thought drugs were readily available in their area.

Of respondents in each age group these were the percentages of people who said they believed drugs were definitely readily available in the area where they live:

16-24 year olds – 24 per cent

25-34 year olds – 24 per cent

35-44 year olds – 37 per cent

45-54 year olds – 34 per cent

55 + year olds – 37 per cent

The findings appear to be in opposition to those given in the latest Home Office drug misuse: findings from the 2017/18 crime survey for England and Wales around perceived ease of obtaining illegal drugs. The crime survey reported older respondents were less likely to think they could obtain drugs within 24 hours.

NHS Digital maps for 2017/18 showing hospital admissions for poisoning by drug misuse highlight Lincolnshire and Norfolk among areas of lower end rates, at ‘20 to less than 30’ admissions per 100,000. Meanwhile Northumberland is among the worst with ‘40 plus’ admissions recorded per 100,000 population. Much of the North East and North West is in the top half of the scale with ‘30 to 40’ admissions per 100,000 and other patches also with Northumberland in being among those areas in the highest levels on the scale at 40 plus.

Public Health England published localised data in 2017: Estimates of opiate and crack cocaine use prevalence, 2014 to 2015.

Nine per cent of people aged 16 to 59 took an illicit drug in 2017/2018, according to NHS Digitals ‘Statistics on Drug Misuse, England, 2018, November update.



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