Swanswell ‘encouraged’ by fall in heroin and crack users

07 March 2013

Research suggesting the number of people under 35 using heroin and crack in England is ‘plummeting’ is very encouraging but there’s still a lot of work to do, says Swanswell.

The national recovery charity, which wants to achieve a society free from problem alcohol and drug use, is responding to figures from the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA), which says there were 298,752 users in 2010/11 – the lowest in its 12-year history - from a peak of 332,090 in 2005/06 (reports BBC News).

The research found that the number of people injecting drugs has also fallen – from 129,977 in 2005/06 to 93,401 in 2010/11.

Drug-related crime is also ‘significantly down’ according to the NTA and it estimates that drug treatment prevented some 4.9 million offences taking place in 2010/11.

Debbie Bannigan, Swanswell’s Chief Executive, said: ‘Research from the NTA is very encouraging, as the number of people using heroin and crack has fallen by around ten percent since its peak in 2005/06.

Treatment for drug misuse has changed a lot over the years, so the results are testament to the hard work organisations are doing to help people into recovery and ultimately lead drug-free lives.

We mustn’t forget there are almost 300,000 people in England still using heroin and crack, many of which are over 35 and have been using drugs for a long time according to the research, so there’s still a lot of work to do in order to achieve a society free from problem drug – and alcohol – use.

As we move into a new chapter with Public Health England, we hope to see an increased focus on tackling emerging drugs such as legal highs, alongside a continued fall in heroin and crack use.’

If you're concerned about drug misuse or want more information, visit our drugs pages.

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