“DRUG-RELATED DEATHS”: DEFINITION
Further to the debate on what does or does not count as a "drug-related death", Peter O'Loughlin gives the authoritative definition, as below.
In 2000, the advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) published a report, Reducing Drug Related Deaths (1) that fed into the 10-year strategy. In addition to several recommendations about the prevention of drug misuse deaths, the ACMD recommended that a better system for the surveillance of drug misuse deaths was needed.
In response to this recommendation, a technical working group was set up consisting of experts across government, the devolved administrations, coroners, toxicologists and drug agencies. The working group reviewed the system for collecting data on drug related deaths and proposed an indicator for the surveillance of deaths related to drug misuse.
âThe definition of the indicator is, deaths where the underlying cause is poisoning, drug abuse or dependence and any of the substances controlled under the Misuse of Drug Act (1971) are involvedâ.
The definition was accepted by the DoH (2) and still stands today.
In view of the foregoing, I reject the subsequent NTA claim that my questions posted on this site are rhetorical – the NTA has both a duty and obligation to respond to them.
1. Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs (2000) Reducing Drug Related Deaths. The Stationery Office: London.
2. Department of Health (2001) The Government Response to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs Report into Drug Related Deaths, The Stationery Office London