Northern Ireland drug deaths ‘different from rest of UK’

Drugs-related deaths in Northern Ireland are mostly linked to prescription drugs, unlike other regions of the UK, a study suggests.

Whereas the vast majority of drug-related deaths in the UK are linked to opiates such as heroin and morphine, in NI most relate to other drugs.

The research was carried out by St George’s, University of London.

It found there was a small decrease in the overall number of drug-related deaths in Northern Ireland.

There were 78 such deaths in 2012 as opposed to 82 in 2011.

Northern Ireland contrasts the rest of the UK with higher proportions of deaths attributed to drugs such as tramadol, benzodiazepines and anti-depressants.

Northern Ireland also displayed a substantially lower proportion of deaths attributed to heroin/morphine and methadone than other regions of the UK, such as the South of England, the midlands and London.

Read the full National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths report by the International Centre for Drug Policy at St George’s, University of London here: