Sunderland top for drug poisoning cases

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MORE people are being admitted to Wearside health centres suffering from the often-deadly effects of drug poisoning than anywhere else in the North East, new figures show.

The statistics, from the Health and Social Care Information Centre, show that 53 patients treated by Sunderland Teaching Primary Care (PCT) were found to be suffering from symptoms where there was a primary or secondary diagnosis of drug-related mental health and behavioural disorders.

County Durham PCT was second with 44 cases, while South Tyneside PCT treated 27 patients with the conditions after they had taken poisoned substances such as heroin, cannabis and cocaine.

Nonnie Crawford, who is director of public health at Sunderland City Council, said: “The statistics on drug misuse report published show that overall there has been a reduction in admissions for drug-related and mental health behavioural disorders over the last 10 years.

“Where we have services which provide care to small numbers of people like this, we often see significant variation from year to year. We note the very small numbers locally in 2011/12 and will continue to use this information to inform our service provision around drugs-related harm.”

Primary Care Trusts no longer exist after the Government abolished them and replaced them with Clinical Commissioning Groups.

The North East as a whole did not fare any better in the report, showing that 38 people per every 100,000 were admitted to hospital with poisoning from illicit drugs, compared to an average across England of 23 people out of the same number.

Figures also showed that 2,370 men were hospitalised in the North East because of poisoned drugs, compared with 1,084 women.

More than 1,500 people died in England and Wales last year because of drug misuse, down 110 on the previous