The figures include both legal and illegal drugs and cover accidents, suicides involving drug poisoning, drug abuse and drug dependence. The figures don’t include other adverse effects of drugs, such as allergic reactions or poisoning with non-medical substances e.g. household chemicals.
Figures show that cocaine use resulted in 235 deaths (an increase of 20% compared with 2007) and heroin or morphine use resulted in 897 deaths (an increase of 8% from 2007). Anti-depressants use resulted in 381 deaths in 2008, however over the period 2004 – 2008 deaths from anti-depressants actually fell by 19%.
In total, deaths from drug misuse rose to 1,738 in 2008. This is the highest level recorded since 2001. The figures also showed that most drug-related deaths were among men aged 30-39.