Swanswell welcomes report on fall in drug deaths but calls for the government to continue to prioritise tackling drug misuse
28 May 2013
Swanswell’s welcoming a report that details a fall in drug-related deaths but is calling for the government to continue to prioritise tackling drug misuse.
The national recovery charity, which wants to achieve a society free from problem alcohol and drug use, is responding to the latest report from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction called ‘European Drug Report, 2013’.
It says in Europe there were 6,500 deaths directly related to drugs in 2011 (the latest reported figures), compared to 7,700 in 2010 – a reduction of 15.5% percent.
The study also found that in 2011, Estonia had the highest rate of drug-related deaths with 135.7 drug-related deaths for every one million people. Romania had the lowest rate of drug-related deaths, with 1 drug-related death for every one million people. The UK had 52 drug-related deaths per one million people.
Debbie Bannigan, Swanswell’s Chief Executive, said: ‘While today’s figures are encouraging, any drug-related death is still one too many, so there’s still a lot of work to do.’
‘While the figures show a fall in deaths, we hope the government takes note but still prioritises tackling drug misuse. We need a bigger emphasis on drug education, particularly in schools, and greater availability of clear information about drugs and harm minimisation so people can make sensible, informed choices about the risks they’re taking.’
‘Thousands more lives could be saved through these preventative measures but we also need more investment in treatment services to ensure people who do misuse drugs but want to make a change have access to all the support they need.’
‘Whatever happens next, we all have a part to play in tackling drug misuse – it’s not something any government, organisation or individual can do on their own.’