UK has highest number of drug deaths in Europe

EMCDDA European Drug Report 2020 reveals the shocking levels of drug overdose deaths in the UK.

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UK trends

As part of its 2020 European Drug Report published earlier this week, the EMCDDA also made available its annual statistical bulletin which contains the most recent available data on the drug situation in Europe provided by the Member States. These datasets underpin the analysis presented in the European Drug Report and the EMCDDA very helpfully makes it possible for all the data to be viewed interactively on screen and downloaded in Excel format.

I have perused the data and created three of my own charts when the situation in the UK (often actually England and Wales because of data sources) is of interest.

High levels of cocaine use 

As you can see from the chart below, young (15-34) adults in the UK use more cocaine than any other European country, with Denmark, the Netherlands and Spain also heavy users.

Drug-related deaths

The most sombre data in the report relates to overdose deaths. Although countries do vary in their definitions, the UK’s prominence in the chart below is deeply distressing (in this case figures include England, Scotland & Wales but not Northern Ireland).

Numbers in treatment

As you can see from the graph below, the UK has far more people in drug treatment (at least double) than any other European country.

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