According to figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS):
- There were 4,359 deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales in 2018, the highest number and the highest annual increase (16%) since the time series began in 1993.
- The male drug poisoning rate has significantly increased from 89.6 per million males in 2017 to 105.4 in 2018; while the female rate increased for the ninth consecutive year to 47.5 per million females in 2018, the latest increase was not statistically significant compared to 2017.
- Two-thirds (or 2,917) of drug-related deaths were related to drug misuse, accounting for 50.9 deaths per million people in 2018.
- The North East had a significantly higher rate of deaths relating to drug misuse than all other English regions; London had the lowest rate.
- Between 2017 and 2018, there were increases in the number of deaths involving a wide range of substances, though opiates, such as heroin and morphine, continued to be the most frequently mentioned type of drug