Heroin and Opioids in the UK

How are Heroin and Prescription Opioids affecting the UK?

Data from National Statistics office in the UK (2018) has shown that in year 2018 there has been a significant increase in England and Wales among men. Two thirds of the deaths were related to “drug misuse”, the UK classifies most substance use disorders as “drug misuse”. This refers to drugs that were bought illegally and not obtained under prescription or over the counter.

London has the lowest number of drug deaths

The North East of England has the highest rate of drug death related to drug misuse in the UK. London, has the lowest number of drug deaths.

Opiates in England and Wales, heroin and morphine, has the highest number of drug deaths when compared to any other drug. However, deaths from cocaine are increasing to their highest number since records began in 1993.


Opioid prescriptions in the UK have been decreased in recent years despite seeing an increase by 34% from 1998 to 2016. Including oral morphine in that the increase in total has been 120%. However, due to more awareness in opioid prescribing and addiction risk, since 2016 there has been a decline in prescribing opioids, with only around 11.7% of practices prescribing high doses.

Better Pain Management

Paracetamol, has been proven to work just as effectively in some cases of chronic and acute pain as an oral medication.

Paracetamol is a CNS depressant but only in a very mild form. It does still carry an over-dose potential if misused in an excessive or suicidal way. However, this potential is absolutely minuscule when compared to opioids such as Oxycontin.

Ibuprofen is non steroid anti-inflammatory, it can reduce swelling around areas of injury or inflammation that can cause pain. Used in conjunction with paracetamol it can be a very effective way of managing pain.

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