Drug Addiction AbuseThe Office for National Statistics (ONS) has announced that 2014 saw the highest number of registered drug poisoning deaths since records began in 1993.

Of those, 67% were due to drug misuse involving illegal drugs. See their release here. In response to these figures, Yasmin Batliwala, Chair of the National Drug and Alcohol Charity, WDP, comments: “These figures demonstrate that we are simply not doing enough to tackle drug use in this country. The lack of a current and targeted national drugs strategy is a blatant demonstration of this failure. ”

“We urgently need to rethink our approach to tackling drug misuse, with an immediate evidence-based emphasis on harm reduction and health outcomes. Frontline treatment expertise must meet political will to create interventions that help people to manage and ultimately overcome drug dependency. The alternative is a continuation of the tragic statistics we see today,” she added.

About Yasmin: Yasmin Batliwala is the Chair of WDP. She has more than 18 years of experience in the public sector, with particular involvement in the areas of drug and alcohol dependency, HIV/AIDS and crime.  She sits on the Mental Health Review Tribunal, has undertaken work for the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, managed the Substance Misuse Unit at the NHS’s North East Thames Regional Health Authority and conducted action research for the Department of Health into drug use within SW5 and Soho. She was recently named Woman of Achievement 2014 in the Public Sector Category by Women in the City. She tweets at @Y_Batliwala.

About WDP: WDP is a charity with more than 25 years of experience providing advice, support and treatment to people struggling with substance misuse/dependency and mental health issues in London, the South-East and East of England. Visit www.wdp.org.uk for more information.