The Office for National Statistics today released new figures on the number of people who died from drug related causes in England and Wales during 2022.
In England and Wales during 2022, 4,907 people died as a result of drugs.
Paul Townsley, CEO of Humankind, said:
“Along with everyone at Humankind, my thoughts and deepest sympathies are with anyone who has lost a loved one. Their deaths will devastate families and communities up and down the country. Those 4,907 sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, friends and partners have gone far too soon.
“Reducing this tragic loss of life is a long-term, generational challenge. Funding from the Government’s drug strategy has enabled us to start rebuilding our treatment and recovery system after a decade of disinvestment but there’s a huge amount more to do.
“We know it is people facing multiple disadvantage who are most likely to die. As charities we have the flexibility to wrap around those challenges and provide the housing, employment and mental health support which buttresses recovery and reduces harm. Our upcoming merger with Richmond Fellowship will enable us to do that here at Humankind.
“But as a society, we can only reduce deaths and the health inequalities that drive them through targeted, sustained and ring-fenced investment for the full ten years of the drug strategy and in the places those disparities are felt the most. These include the North East, the North West and Yorkshire – all of which Humankind is proud to serve.
“As a field we must continue to collaborate on established and emerging challenges, such as the worrying rise of synthetic opioids or support for people with both mental health and drug/alcohol support needs.”