13 February 2014

Drugs deaths fall in Brighton & Hove for third year running

Commenting on figures showing that Brighton & Hove has seen the rate of drugs deaths fall for the past three years running, Cllr Rob Jarrett, chair of the adult social care and health committee, said:

“Its great news that the rate of drugs deaths has fallen for the third year in a row and I want to thank all the professionals involved that have helped achieve this. But we have to be mindful that any death caused by drugs is a tragedy. Brighton & Hove has had a problem with drug abuse for decades but through pioneering services tailored to users we are delivering real results to help combat the problem.

“The city’s drug treatment services have taken a cultural shift and are now tailoring services to drug users so for example they have a named worker assigned to them early on as part of a care ‘pathway’. We hope that the focus on recovery and reintegration back into society will further increase positive outcomes for the men and women our services work with.”

Brighton & Hove City Council director of public health Tom Scanlon said:

“Hard work both in the planning stages and on the frontline by professionals has helped deliver this fall in the rate of drugs deaths and this is a real triumph and everyone involved should take pride in what we have achieved. But there is more hard graft to be done to continue this downward trend. We have a relatively high number of drug users in the city which is why we also have high numbers of drug related deaths.

“Each of these deaths represents a personal tragedy so that’s why staff in the Clinical Commissioning Group, City Council, Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust and the voluntary sector have been working hard to deliver a number of initiatives that are helping to tackle this problem.

“We have achieved breakthroughs by having named key workers for clients, a care pathway that focuses on recovery, quickly following up on people who drop out of treatment and training for drug users’ partners to administer life-saving antidotes to opiates in the event of an overdose.”

Notes to editors:

Figures released by the National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths show the number of drug-related deaths in Brighton and Hove feel in 2012

There were 35 people who died (drugs) in Brighton and Hove in 2010 – a rate of 16.15 per 100,000 population.

There were 17 people who died (drugs)in Brighton and Hove in 2011 – a rate of 7.46 per 100,000 population.

There were 16 people who died (drugs) in Brighton and Hove in 2012 – a rate of 6.94 per 100,000 population.

Source: International Centre for Drug Policy, St George's University London