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drugsIn the year to March 2017 there were just under 1,000 opiate users and almost 300 non-opiate users in treatment.[1]

The proportion of opiate users that left drug treatment successfully (free of drug[s] dependence) who did not then re-present for treatment within 6 months was 6.3%, which is significantly better than the regional average of 4.9% and similar to the England average of 6.5% [Chart - Successful drug treatment - opiate users].[2]

The proportion of non-opiate users that left drug treatment successfully who did not then re-present within 6 months was 30.4%, compared with 25.8% across the North East and 36.9% for England as a whole. [Chart - Successful drug treatment - non-opiate users].[2]

needleIn Gateshead, 77% of those eligible received hepatitis B virus vaccination (compared to 47% in England). Of injecting drug users eligible in Gateshead, 90% had a hepatitis C virus test (compared to 73% in England).[3]

There has been an increase in the use of legal highs across Gateshead.[3]

Nationally, drug use reported by 11-15 year olds has decreased since 2001.[3] When surveyed, 11% of school pupils 8-11 years of age in Gateshead responded that they are 'fairly sure' or 'certain' that they know someone who uses drugs (not as medicines).[4]

teenagerIn the 2014/15 'What About YOUth' (WAY) survey, 14.3% of 15 year olds in Gateshead reported that they had tried cannabis, with 6.3% taking cannabis in the last month. These rates are both higher than the England averages of 10.7% and 4.6% respectively [Chart - 15 year olds taking cannabis in the last month]. Gateshead's rate for those who have taken cannabis in the last month is also significantly higher than six of the fifteen local authorities in Gateshead's CIPFA nearest neighbour group [Chart - 15 year olds taking cannabis in the last month (CIPFA nearest neighbours)].[5]

At 8.1 per 100,000 people, the rate of deaths due to drug misuse in Gateshead is almost twice as high as the England average of 4.3. The general trend in deaths from drug misuse is of a slight increase both locally and nationally (although broad confidence intervals at the local level mean changes need to be interpreted with care). In the period 2015 to 2017, there were 49 deaths from drug misuse in Gateshead.[6]

Deaths from drug misuse


[1] NDTMS Adult Activity Report (Partnership) - Report Viewer, Report date 30 Nov 2018, Data period Apr 2017 - Mar 2018 (NDTMS website [restricted access]) 

[2] NDTMS, 2017 (PHOF website)

[3] Drugs and alcohol service needs in Gateshead, 2013

[4] Gateshead Schools Health Related Behaviour Survey 2014

[5] What About YOUth? Survey, HSCIC, 2014/15 (Young People website)

[6] ONS 2015-17 (PHOF website)

Last modified on 5th December 2018

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