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Wednesday 21st August 2019

Heroin and crack use falling

7th March 2013

The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA) says the numbers of people under 35 using crack and heroin in England is plummeting.


Latest figures show there were 298,752 users in 2010/11, which is the lowest since the NTA was set up 12 years ago.

When the NTA closes at the end of March and the management of substance misuse will be taken over by Public Health England (PHE), local authorities will be given ring-fenced grants to spend on public health services - including substance misuse treatment - from April.

The number of heroin and crack users peaked in the under 35s in 2005/06 with 332,090, though figures suggest that the proportion of those aged over 35 being treated for drug use is increasing.

NTA chief executive Paul Hayes said: “The drug population is ageing. We have very few people in their teens and twenties using heroin and crack, and more in treatment in their 40s and 50s who are frailer, iller and more difficult to turn around in the system.”

Drug-related crime has also fallen significantly with the NTA estimating that drug treatment prevented almost five million offences from taking place in 2010-11, by comparing rates of offending before and after treatment.


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