Deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales: 2017 registrations

Tue 7th August 2018 |

ONS: Deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales

Yesterday’s statistics, published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), show that 3,756 people died from drug related causes in England and Wales in 2017.

  • Deaths related to cocaine have increased for the sixth consecutive year
  • Deaths related to fentanyl have increased by 29%
  • Deaths involving heroin declined slightly for the first time since 2012

In the UK, deaths from drugs overtook road traffic accidents as a leading cause of death in 2008, and since 2012 they have risen sharply.

Main points

  • There were 3,756 deaths relating to drug poisoning in England and Wales in 2017, a rate of 66.1 deaths per 1 million population, and similar to levels seen in 2016.
  • Two-thirds of drug-related deaths were related to drug misuse, accounting for 43.7 deaths per 1 million in 2017.
  • Males’ mortality rate decreased from 91.4 deaths per 1 million population in 2016 to 89.6 in 2017, while the female rate increased for the eighth consecutive year to 42.9 deaths per 1 million population; neither changes were significant.
  • The North East had a significantly higher rate of deaths relating to drug-misuse than all other English regions; London had a significantly lower rate.
  • Deaths involving cocaine and fentanyl continued to rise while deaths related to new psychoactive substances halved in 2017.


The full statistical release can be found here: ONS – DRD-2017

Tue 7th August 2018