Drug poisoning cases on the increase

MORE than 100 people were admitted to hospitals in Suffolk in one year after being poisoned following drug use, new figures have revealed.

Anthony Bond

MORE than 100 people were admitted to hospitals in Suffolk in one year after being poisoned following drug use, new figures have revealed.

Suffolk Primary Care Trust (PCT) has the second highest number of people being diagnosed with drug poisoning at hospitals out of the 14 PCTs in the East of England. In total the figure stands at 116 for 2006-7.

The figures, released by the NHS Information Centre, also revealed there were 257 hospital admissions in the county were there was a primary or secondary diagnosis of a drug-related mental health and behavioural disorder.


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Nationally, the figures revealed that the number of under-16s being admitted to hospital due to illegal drugs has risen by almost half in a decade.

One Suffolk-based drug expert said he was not surprised by the findings and said that more honest drug education was needed in schools.

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Chip Somers, chief executive of Bury St Edmunds-based charity Focus12, said: “I think there are an awful lot of people now misusing drugs, lots of them out of ignorance because they are completely unaware of the consequences of drug use.

“I think Suffolk is the same as everywhere else in the UK and is not isolated from all the other problems that affect young people throughout the UK.

“It is as prone to drug problems as anywhere else in the country. We have lots of young people disenfranchised and feeling hopeless for the future and with easy access to drugs.

“What is needed is far more honest and proper education around drugs. It is extremely hard to find a school in Suffolk which admits that any of its pupils take drugs. As a result of that there is not a proper drug education in schools - it needs to be more than just saying 'drugs are bad'.”

A spokesman for the NHS in Suffolk said: “It is good to receive a report which puts together drug misuse statistics in one place.

“Suffolk Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT), a partnership of local authorities, police, NHS Suffolk and other groups, will be reviewing this document to see how we compare to other equivalent DAATs.

“We do have service arrangements in place locally to help people with substance misuse problems, many of whom are vulnerable and require support.”

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