We have issued the following statement following the release of the Office of National Statistics’ report on deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales: 2020 registrations.
The report identifies that there were 4,561 drug-related deaths in England and Wales in 2020, representing a 3.8% increase on the previous year’s figures.
Mark Moody, our Chief Executive, is calling for change:
Such an increase in the number of drug-related deaths demonstrates the need for us to take action now. Too many people have died, and each death is a tragedy for families and a loss for our communities.
Drug-related deaths are preventable, not inevitable, and now is the time for change. The recommendations made to Government in the Dame Carol Black Review offer a once-in-a-generation opportunity to change things for the better, but only if they are implemented in their entirety.
For things to improve, we must directly challenge the stigma faced by people who use drugs. This starts by recognising that drug dependency is a chronic health condition which must be integrated alongside NHS services, criminal justice pathways, and housing support.
No single organisation has the solution to drug-related deaths, and a national Drug Strategy must be led by the voices of the people who are most affected. We hope to work together with Government and other partners to share our expertise, insights, and evidence.
By working together, we have a much greater chance of preventing harm, saving lives, and changing society for the better.”
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