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Men more likely to die from drug misuse

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Men are significantly more likely than women to die from illicit drug use, suggests a report published today.

Latest figures from the NHS Information Centre show that of the 1,573 deaths related to drug misuse in England and Wales in 2006, almost 80% were male.

According to the report, men are also twice as likely as women to take illicit drugs and be admitted to hospital for drug related mental health and behavioural disorders.

In 2006/7, 13.2% of men in England and Wales reported misusing drugs compared to just 6.9% of women, and almost 5,000 men were admitted to English hospitals with drug related mental health problems compared to just over 2,000 women.

Tim Straughan, NHS Information Centre Chief Executive, said: ‘This bulletin paints a picture of wide discrepancy between the number of men who take, are treated, or even die from drug use compared to the number of women.

‘The fact that more than 1,500 people died due to drug use in 2006 is extremely saddening in itself, but the fact so many of these deaths are male raises many questions about gender and drug misuse,’ he added.

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