‘Shocking’ rise in over-65 drug poisonings

The number of over-65s diagnosed with drug poisoning rose 40 per cent in the last six years, NHS figures have revealed.

This included the use of illegal substances, as well as codeine and prescription drugs.

UK hospital admissions for drug poisoning climbed six per cent as a whole in 2018-2019.


Jay Stewart, Managing Director for Substance Misuse and Public Health at health charity Turning Point, said the number of hospital admissions for over-65s was “quite shocking”.

“It’s not just about hospital admissions, we are also seeing record numbers of drug-related deaths”, he added.

Last year, ten people over 90-years-old were also admitted for mental disorders arising from cocaine use.


Separate figures reveal that the number of young people using Class A drugs is at a 16-year high.

Of those aged between 16 and 24, 8.7 per cent had taken a Class A drug in the past year, the highest since 2002-2003.

The UK’s overall number of hospital admissions for drug-related disorders rose 30 per cent from the previous decade.

The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, commented: “Addiction is a destructive and tragic affliction that can cause physical and emotional harm and cost lives.”