Men­tal health toll soars for drug-users


Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By CLAIRE MILLER news­[email protected] @MENnews­desk

DRUGS are caus­ing record num­bers of hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sions in Greater Manch­ester for men­tal health dis­or­ders.

Fig­ures re­veal 7,095 ad­mis­sions to hos­pi­tals in 2018/19 where the per­son has a pri­mary or sec­ondary di­ag­no­sis of drug-re­lated men­tal or be­havioural dis­or­ders.

That is the high­est num­ber recorded since lo­cal fig­ures be­gan in 2008/09.

Drugs in­volved in­clude cannabis, opi­oids and co­caine, as well as seda­tives and sleep­ing tablets.

Ad­mis­sions have nearly dou­bled from 3,851 in 2008/09, and have risen by a fifth in a year from 5,850 in 2017/18.

Record lev­els were seen in Manch­ester, where there were 1,695 ad­mis­sions, and Traf­ford, with 410 ad­mis­sions, where num­bers have tripled since 2008/09.

In 2018/19, there were 375 ad­mis­sions with a pri­mary di­ag­no­sis of drug-re­lated men­tal or be­havioural dis­or­ders in Greater Manch­ester.

The fig­ures, re­leased by NHS Dig­i­tal, also in­clude the num­ber of ad­mis­sions with a pri­mary di­ag­no­sis of poi­son­ing through drug mis­use.

There were 1,375 cases in Greater Manch­ester in 2018/19, a record num­ber, up from 1,235 in 2017/18.

Sep­a­rate fig­ures have shown record num­ber of deaths in Greater Manch­ester be­cause of drug poi­son­ing.

There were 676 deaths re­lated to drug poi­son­ing in area be­tween 2016 and 2018 – the high­est num­ber since records be­gan in 2001.

Robin Pol­lard, pol­icy re­searcher at drug and al­co­hol char­ity Ad­dac­tion, said: “With drug-re­lated deaths at record lev­els, it’s clear our cur­rent ap­proach to prob­lem­atic drug use isn’t work­ing.

“Try­ing to ar­rest our way out of the is­sue has been a mon­u­men­tal fail­ure and the next gov­ern­ment must fol­low the ev­i­dence, treat­ing peo­ple with com­pas­sion and dig­nity.”

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