Reducing opioid-related deaths

Today (12th December) the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) has published a report on the increase of drug-related deaths in the UK.

The report recognises that there have been substantial increases in drug-related deaths in the UK in recent years, with the largest increase linked to misuse of opioid substances.

It sets out a number of recommendations to reduce opiate-related deaths including improving standards of data collection, protection of (at least) current levels of investment in evidence-based drug treatment and ensuring that opioid substitute treatment (OST) is easily and cheaply available.

We welcome the findings of the report and its recommendations to tackle the growing issue of opiate-related deaths.

The report presents the most important recommendation is that the government ensures that investment in OST of optimal dosage and duration is at least maintained and that central and local governments introduce strategies to protect this. We know that is fundamental that funding for drug treatment is protected to prevent the further tragedy of all drug-related deaths including those involving opiate use.

ACMD recommends that naloxone is made available easily and cheaply to people who use opiates and their families and that all patients are provided with access to other healthcare services to treat ongoing health issues. We believe that harm reduction strategies play an important part in recovery and that treatment should be given to individuals for as long as is needed.

We also support the funding and commissioned of further research into causes of drug related deaths.

Read the full report here.

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