RCPsych Wales comment on rising drug death statistics, published by the ONS

15 August 2019

Figures released today (15 August) by the Office of National Statistics shows an increase in drug related deaths in Wales.

Figures identify an overall increase in drug related death. Trends highlight the largest percentage increase was in women, and that there was a significant increase in drug related death amongst the older population.

Professor Keith Lloyd, Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Wales said:

“With drug-related deaths rising by more than 25%, the highest ever recorded number, we are now at crisis point and this should serve as a wake-up call to the government.

“Years of austerity, shortages in professional skilled staff and underinvestment in addiction services mean people living with multiple needs cannot be helped properly.

 “The top priority should be to get more people into effective treatment and ensure health services can keep up with demand.

“We should be targeting local communities, especially with hard to reach groups such as the homeless population.

“We need action on this issue before the problem spirals out of control and destroys more lives.”