NHS figures have revealed that the number of people in England being taken into hospital for serious mental health problems have soared due to taking drugs. The number has doubled in a 10 year period, with statistics recording the damaging effects that illicit drugs such as cannabis and cocaine have had on people’s mental health.
In 2016 – 2017 hospitals in England treated 82,135 people for drug abuse, a 115% increase on the 38,170 people treated in 2006 – 2007. According to a recent report by The Guardian, the number of people admitted to hospital under the age of 16 has nearly doubled from 402 to 799, whilst those aged 16 to 24 has risen dramatically from 6,983 to 12,369 (77%).
MDMA has been named as the key factor behind the growing number of people being treated in hospital. Former legal highs such as mephedrone and Spice have also been named as likely explanations for the rise. Chair of the addictions faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Professor Colin Drummond has said that the increase is extremely concerning and mirrors the growing number of hospital admissions due to alcohol.
With heroin and morphine related deaths now at their highest following the 2017 record number, it has become evident that the problem needs to be addressed.
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