Scarboro’ named as heroin death hotspot
Town is worst in the county for deaths from the illegal drug
increased drug use, which was also highlighted in a report by Public Health England last year, which said: “Social factors, including housing, employment and deprivation, are associated with substance misuse and these social factors moderate drug treatment outcomes.”
Experts also identified a “deepening of socio-economic deprivation since the financial crisis of 2008” as a possible factor.
North Yorkshire’s director of Public Health, Dr Lincoln Sargeant, said around 3,000 people access treatment across the county a year, with Scarborough seeing the most cases.
He said that much of work aimed done by recovery service North Yorkshire Horizons at rehabilitating drug users also addressed causes related to social factors. He added: “When somebody accesses treatment we have a system that helps support that person back into work and sort out their housing so the factors that helped them to spiral into substance misuse are also tackled.”
The service will shortly begin to provide opioid users with Naloxone, a medication which can block the effects of opioid, especially in an overdose situation. Health services across the area also have an “early earning alert protocol” to warn drug users, if, for example, a contaminated batch of drugs enters the market.
Dr Sargeant added: “All deaths are a tragedy for that person and their family. We are working with Horizons to identify the things that we can do to prevent drug use becoming fatal.”
Inspector Graeme Kynman of North Yorkshire Police’s Scarborough Command said: “Wherever possible we will work with those individuals that come to our notice to overcome their drug related problems and live healthy and crime-free lives. We will continue to provide access routes into treatment and other effective interventions that will enhance the individual’s chances of reaching their full potential.”
Blackpool had the highest death rate across England and Wales, with 14 heroin and/or morphine misuse deaths per 100,000 people in 2016, according to the report.
There were 3,744 drug poisoning deaths, involving both legal and illegal drugs, registered in 2016 in England and Wales.
This was up by 70, or two per cent, on 2015, and the highest number since comparable data started in 1993. The ONS report referred to the “Trainspotting Generation”, who became addicted to heroin in the 1980s and 1990s, as a possible explanation for why the highest rate of death from drugs misuse was among 40 to 49-year-olds.