This note presents an unbiased overview of the authors’ findings to empower you to make the best decisions for state-of-the-art drug screening for in-vitro diagnostic and forensic use. Moreover, the rise in the production of illicit drugs is also aiding market growth. Also, the potential pure production of heroin increased by 22%, from 59 metric tons in 2020 to 72 metric tons in 2021.

substance abuse trends

In particular this phenomenon, which originated mainly in the large cities of Northern Europe, has gradually spread across the continent and is now a worrying reality in western European countries. Other rising trends of substance abuse include cognitive eco sober house ma enhancers and new psychoactive substances . An international overview of the new trends of drug abuse during the current COVID-19 pandemic and the related health risks are hereby discussed, taking into consideration different points of view.

One in five (20%) males and 12% of females reported having been offered Cannabis within the last year. With regard to which drugs were used most commonly, it was found that Cannabis was the drug most frequently used in the year prior to the survey and used ever (11% and 33% respectively). Cocaine was reported to have been used in the last year by 4% of those questioned and used ever by 9%. Amphetamines and poppers had each been used in the last year by 2% of respondents and used ever by 14% and 10% of respondents respectively.


Increasing drug overdose is one of the key factors to increasing the adoption of at-home drug testing strips. Thus, increasing drug-induced overdose is expected to increase the adoption of testing strips thus increasing the market growth. Overall, a slightly higher proportion of girls who needed mental health treatment were receiving a form of mental health treatment when they started substance misuse treatment compared to boys (70% compared to 66%).

substance abuse trends

33% of 13 year olds and 50% of 15 year olds who were regular smokers had also used drugs in the last month. The most up to date estimates (2016/17) indicate that there are 9.1 opiate and/or crack cocaine users (per 1,000 of the population aged 15-64) in the Lancashire-12 area, in line with the England estimate (8.9). Blackburn with Darwen (18.8) and Blackpool (23.5) both have significantly higher estimated rates of opiate and/or crack cocaine users.

For the year ending March 2020, 4.6% of adults aged 16 to 59 years (around 1.6 million) had used any drug in the last month. Questions on drug use were asked of survey participants aged 60 to 74 years for the first time in the year ending March 2018 when the upper age limit for the CSEW self-completion module was extended. Therefore, the prevalence of last-year drug use in those aged 16 to 74 years (7.6%) was lower than for those aged 16 to 59 years (9.4%). 3.4% of adults aged 16 to 59 years had taken a Class A drug in the last year (approximately 1.1 million people); this was similar to the previous year (3.7%). An estimated 1 in 11 adults aged 16 to 59 years had taken a drug in the last year (9.4%; approximately 3.2 million people); this is the same as the year ending March 2019 but an increase from 8.6% in the year ending March 2010.

Find information and services

These and other changes to service provision during the pandemic may have affected many of the indicators included in this report. New entrants with cannabis and benzodiazepine problems increased again this year, with a 5% increase in cannabis and a 6% increase in benzodiazepines . For technical information on various drugs and more information relevant to drug testing, please visit our technical drug information section. Alternatively, for employers we have a page specifically for information on random drug testing in the workplace. When used in conjunction with open communication and co-operation, these test kits can be used to help deter children and teenagers from abusing drugs and to create an opposing force against peer pressure. Being able to say, “Sorry, I can’t use drugs because my parents test me at home” can make all the difference.

  • The proportion of young people who reported benzodiazepines as a problematic substance was also consistently low (under 1%) between 2005 and 2017.
  • In 2017, just over one fifth (22%) of prisoners reported using drugs in prison in the month prior to the survey (24% in 2015).
  • A further 21% had problems with other drugs, and over a quarter (28%) had problems with alcohol only.
  • Numbers for people in treatment who said they had a problem with alcohol only are shown from 2009 to 2010 onwards when national alcohol treatment data collection started.
  • This was largely driven by rises in offences involving the possession of drugs, and reflected proactive police activity in pursuing crime during lockdown restrictions, rather than genuine changes in drug use.

We can compare this data to prevalence data to get an idea of how people’s needs are met nationally and in each local area. The median age of people in treatment in the 4 substance groups ranged from 46 for the alcohol only group to 30 for non-opiates only. You can find a detailed breakdown of age statistics in the accompanying data tables. It’s likely that a number of factors will have contributed to the increase in the number of service users who died while in treatment during 2020 to 2021. These include changes to alcohol and drug treatment, reduced access to other healthcare services, changes to lifestyle and social circumstances during lockdowns, and COVID-19 itself.

5 Treatment exits

But there was a big difference between substance groups, with 23% of opiate referrals coming from the criminal justice system compared to just 6% for those with only alcohol problems. You can find a further breakdown of these groups in the accompanying data tables. Of the people starting treatment in 2020 to 2021, 61% self-referred or were referred by family and friends. People starting treatment with cannabis and benzodiazepine problems increased again this year, with a 5% increase in cannabis and a 6% increase in benzodiazepines .

There was also a small rise in methamphetamine treatment numbers this year , which has been increasing gradually since reporting began in 2005 to 2006. A large proportion of opiate users in treatment will have started using heroin in the epidemics of the 1980s and 1990s and are now over 40 years old. In 2017 to 2018, 69% said they first used heroin before 2001 and only 9% first used heroin since 2011. People with an opiate problem are placed in the ‘opiate’ substance group regardless of whether other substances are also problematic.

There were increases in the other 2 substance groups (a 9% increase in the non-opiate group and 1% in the non-opiate and alcohol group). If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities. Free training – we are happy to visit your premises to train and certificate your team in rapid drug and alcohol testing and the surrounding issues.

  • The total number of young people coming to treatment increased from 17,105 in 2005 to 2006 to a high of 24,494 in 2008 to 2009.
  • In terms of accessibility to drugs in these regions, Greater Manchester is also the region with the second-highest rate of drug seizures in the UK.
  • Since the beginning of the pandemic, alcohol-related admissions have seen a dramatic reduction.
  • Low dead space syringes also reduce BBV infection rates among PWIDs who share equipment, because less blood is left in the syringe after use .

“On the face of it, a decrease in alcohol-related hospital admissions appears to be a positive outcome. However, upon deeper inspection, it’s clear that this is not necessarily the case. In the North West of England — the location of densely populated cities such as Liverpool and Manchester — alcohol-related hospital admissions have also seen an overwhelming decrease of 73.76%. This is a staggering figure — even more staggering is the drop of alcohol-related admissions in the UK’s most populated region, London.

The most common route for young people to get into specialist treatment services was a referral from social care services. The proportion of people entering treatment this way was higher than the previous year (25% compared with 18% in 2019 to 2020), despite the number remaining stable . This is because of a large fall in referrals from other sources, likely because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like the opiate and crack prevalence rates, the higher prevalence rates are concentrated in the north of England. Rates ranged from 6 per 1000 in Wokingham in the South East to 35 per 1000 in Blackpool. In London, alcohol dependence again followed the same pattern as opiate and crack prevalence.

Figure 11: Adults living in the lowest income households were more likely to have taken any drug

It should be noted that the highly successful Canadian SIFs originally started as an unsanctioned ’pop up’ in downtown Vancouver, operating outside of the law . It has been suggested that UK constabularies could write ‘letters of comfort’, agreeing not to arrest anyone who implements such a facility . SIFs have received public support from the deputy mayor of Bristol, Asher Craig . Police forces, treatment and other services are working together to mitigate some of the harms caused by drugs. Criminal justice diversion schemes are a good example of effective integrated service provision. This briefing will look at what types of drugs are being used across the South West, trends among young people and the responses from different agencies.

  • During 2006, just under a quarter (23%) of 13 year olds and over half (53%) of 15 year olds reported that they had ever been offered illicit drugs.
  • Immunization for patients with cocaine use disorder (TA-CD, dAd5GNE) was explored in phase I and II clinical trials (33–36).
  • In the year ending March 2020, 26.3% of adults who had visited a pub or bar at least nine times in the last month had used any drug in the last year.
  • Heroin held the largest share of the market with 39% of the market, with cannabis holding a 19% share, the second largest.
  • If a drug that is ordinarily Class B is prepared for injection, it will be treated as a Class A drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
  • Also, owing to the reduction in the supply of illicit drugs, there was an increase in the local production of such drugs, which acted as an important factor adding to the market growth.

The number of people with methamphetamine problems also rose to 505, compared to 131 in 2011 to 2012. A third (33%) of people left treatment without completing it, while 12% left either due to unsuccessful transfers between services or the person declining further treatment. Ninety-nine percent of people received a psychosocial intervention while 55% received at least one prescribing intervention. Also, of eco sober house complaints the people who said they had a problem with alcohol, 60% said it was their only problem substance. As limitations of the review, it is important to mention that no data about the current status of each investigational product were collected, as no such information has been found in the searched databases. Note releases from the manufacturers’ sites regarding these products were not included in this review.

Referral routes into treatment

There were 107,428 people in treatment for alcohol in 2020 to 2021 (the total of alcohol only plus the non-opiate and alcohol groups). So, based on these estimates, there was an estimated 82% of adults in need of specialist treatment for alcohol who were not receiving it. The NDTMS treatment figures only show us how many people dependent on alcohol and drugs are in treatment.

Most girls who reported CSE were aged 15 (70, 25%), 16 (85, 30%) or 17 (83, 29%). A quarter of boys who reported CSE (19, 25%) were 15 years old, 13 boys were 16 years old and the remaining 16 boys were aged 14 or younger. Among the young people who started treatment in 2020 to 2021, girls reported CSE much more than boys, with 285 girls (12% of all girls) and 77 boys (2% of all boys) reporting CSE. There were 9,832 young people who said they had a problem with cannabis (89% of all in treatment) and 4,459 (41%) said they had a problem with alcohol. Of the young people who left treatment, 79% left because they successfully completed their treatment programme, which is slightly lower than the previous year’s proportion (82%).

Males accounted for approximately 65% of all alcohol-related deaths in the UK in 2014. In England, there are an estimated 595,131 dependent drinkers, of whom only 108,696 are currently accessing treatment. Addiction is a chronic psychiatric disease, where there is dysfunction in the brain reward and memory system. Of those who left, 5,725 (79%) successfully completed their treatment and 1,088 (15%) dropped out.

This publication is largely unaffected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as it mainly relates to the period prior to the lockdown. Studies have estimated that every dollar spent on prevention can save seven dollars in costs due to substance abuse. There many programmes and interventions specifically designed to ensure you can make a full recovery from any addiction you might be tussling with.

However, other descriptions of NPS, such as “legal highs”, are inaccurate, as many NPS have been controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Legislation was passed in December 2009 to control the substances Spice, BZP and GBL or GHB and other synthetic cannabinoids. Spice is a brand name of, and generic slang for, various herbal mixtures laced with synthetic cannabinoids. BZP is a drug with euphoric and stimulant properties with effects similar to those produced by amphetamines. GHB (gamma-Hydroxybutyrate) is an intoxicant and a “date rape drug”, which has been controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 as a Class C drug since 2003. GBL (gamma-Butyrolactone) is not active in its own right but is a substance that is converted to GHB by enzymes found in the blood and has a faster onset of effects than GHB itself.