Fewer addicts dying - but Brighton and Hove is still UK's drugs death capital

Fewer addicts dying - but Brighton and Hove is still UK's drugs death capital

Fewer addicts dying - but Brighton and Hove is still UK's drugs death capital

First published in News by , Senior Reporter

Brighton and Hove has once again been named and shamed as the drug death capital of the UK.

Figures released yesterday ranked the city worst in the country for drug-related fatalities per head of population.

But there was good news in the fight against addiction as deaths fell overall for the third year in a row.

City leaders said the numbers showed treatments were working – but admitted there was still a long way to go.

The report from the International Centre for Drug Policy showed there were 35 deaths in Brighton and Hove in 2010 compared to 48 the year before.

In 2011, deaths in Brighton and Hove fell even further to around 27 with a similar number expected this year.

Grim tally However, amid a national fall in drugs deaths, Brighton and Hove’s grim tally of 14.8 fatalities per 100,000 people two years ago means the city is again ranked the worst in the country.

Andy Winter, chief executive of the Brighton Housing Trust, runs the largest drug and alcohol treatment services in the city.

He blamed Brighton and Hove’s drug problem on an “anything goes night time culture” but said the drop in deaths was “immensely pleasing”.

He said: “We have to ask ourselves as a city whether we want to continue with this awful tag.

“Although people are enjoying the night time economy, there are victims too and that needs to change. However, we are seeing a better integration of services in Brighton and Hove then we have ever seen before and the drop in deaths reflects that. But even one death is one too many.”

Last year the NHS and Brighton and Hove City Council announced a “cultural shift” in drug services to try to tackle substance abuse.

Previously, many addicts had become lost in the range of different services but under the new system users are assigned a named worker in the first week of treatment.

Frontline workers are also being trained to offer a ‘dual diagnosis’ where users have substance misuse as well as mental health needs.

Since the revamp there has been a 17% growth in the numbers of people leaving treatment successfully compared to the national average rise of 7%.

Mike Pattinson, director of operations for CRI, a drug rehabilitation charity, said the latest figures were “fantastic news”.

He said: “Any drug death is tragic but the positive changes we have made have meant that less people have fallen through the gaps.

“It’s much more difficult now to lose track of people.”

Ex-addict Pete Davies organised the Recovery Walk in September where drug users marched together to celebrate their recovery.

He said the “agenda had changed” in Brighton and Hove and said he hoped the city would soon lose its tag as the drug death capital of the UK.

He said: “It’s not about punishing people any more. It’s about helping them recover and that’s got to be a good thing.

“What’s important is what happens to people in the grip of addiction and after they get clean. People need to rebuild their lives and learn life skills – that’s what stops them returning to drugs.”

Of the 35 deaths in 2010, 13 were the result of heroin overdoses compared to 22 in 2009.

Despite fatalities from the heroin substitute methadone rising over the same period from five to seven, the city fares well in comparison to other cities including Birmingham and Bradford.

Andy Winter said the low proportion of methadone deaths were “a testament” to a drug strategy that was working.

He said: “There are actually remarkably few methadone deaths in Brighton and Hove. Most of the people that die from methadone are not in treatment and get the drug from illegal sources.

“I would say the low proportion in Brighton and Hove is a tribute to the local organisations who have stopped methadone getting into the wrong hands.”

Councillor Rob Jarrett, chair of Brighton & Hove City Council’s adult social care and health committee, said: “Brighton & Hove has had a problem with drug abuse for decades so it’s great that we are also pioneering services that are delivering real results to help combat the problem.

“People turn to drugs for a whole range of reasons. The damage drug abuse does not just on the individual but the family as well as wider society is devastating so it’s vital that we take action.”

 

Legal highs - grieving mum warns over flood of new drugs

The rise of legal highs has made the fight against drugs in Brighton and Hove even tougher.

Last year 48 new party drugs were discovered across the UK which, although legal, could cause mental health problems or even death.

In 2010 there were two deaths related to Brighton and Hove related to mephedrone, nicknamed ‘meow-meow’, which has now been banned.

But one grieving mother warned that the flood of new drugs was outpacing legislators and putting young people in danger.

In 2009, promising medical student Hester Stewart, from Brighton, died after taking a legal high called GBL.

Her mother Maryon said other young people needed to say no to new drugs – even if they had not yet been outlawed.

She said: “As fast as we ban these drugs the crazy chemists just tweak them and a new one comes out.

“Teenagers are playing Russian roulette with their lives and their clueless parents have no idea.

“My Hester was a beautiful cheerleader not a drug taker.

There was no way she would have even sniffed it let alone swallowed it if she knew what it was.

“I’m also certain that the person who supplied her didn’t know the risk either. He didn’t mean to kill her.

“Kids in Brighton think they are safe because they are legal but they’re not.”

Michael Lawrence, from drugs charity CRI, said legal highs were “certainly here to stay”

and confirmed there had already been an unknown number of deaths in Brighton and Hove this year.

He said: “It’s impossible for the authorities to stay up to speed.

“People who use these substances don’t want to go to services because they think they will be full of heroin addicts but that needs to change.

“Ultimately it’s about education because even when these drugs are banned people don’t necessarily stop using them.”

Comments (18)

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11:02am Wed 7 Nov 12

jamus77 says...

Woah. Hold them horses. Is Andy Winter seriously blaming Brighton and Hove's 'night-time culture' - whatever that is - for these drug deaths?? Okay - let's have the stats; how many of these drug deaths were young people out having a good time - and how many were serious, long-term drug addicts living chaotic and squalid lives? To conflate the two is surely misleading.
Woah. Hold them horses. Is Andy Winter seriously blaming Brighton and Hove's 'night-time culture' - whatever that is - for these drug deaths?? Okay - let's have the stats; how many of these drug deaths were young people out having a good time - and how many were serious, long-term drug addicts living chaotic and squalid lives? To conflate the two is surely misleading. jamus77
  • Score: 0

11:12am Wed 7 Nov 12

Crystal Ball says...

Just say no.
Just say no. Crystal Ball
  • Score: 0

12:13pm Wed 7 Nov 12

localboy78 says...

Have you noticed that whenever there is a positive statistic or news item for Brighton and Hove it is banded as just 'Brighton' but whenever there is a negative statistic the full title of the city i.e. Brighton and Hove, is used?

I would be interested to find out what percentage of drugs death apply just to the town of Brighton, rather than the unitary authority area of 'Brighton and Hove'. I suspect that the vast majority of cases are in Brighton proper.

Yet again Hove's name is being tarnished by Brighton's undesireability!
Have you noticed that whenever there is a positive statistic or news item for Brighton and Hove it is banded as just 'Brighton' but whenever there is a negative statistic the full title of the city i.e. Brighton and Hove, is used? I would be interested to find out what percentage of drugs death apply just to the town of Brighton, rather than the unitary authority area of 'Brighton and Hove'. I suspect that the vast majority of cases are in Brighton proper. Yet again Hove's name is being tarnished by Brighton's undesireability! localboy78
  • Score: 0

12:21pm Wed 7 Nov 12

bug eye says...

This once again clearly gives out the message if you want drugs or are a dealer come to Brighton, and that we will tolerate and welcome addicts. There are three problems the addicts the dealers and the stupid. The main aim surely is to get rid of the dealers and the council and police must send out a strong message and act that there is zero tolerance for the sake of the whole economy of the city. I hope a new police commissioner will give this their priority. I would not be surprised if we are not the drink death and homeless capital too. only zero tolerance on these issues will stop the citys economy and tourism from declining.
This once again clearly gives out the message if you want drugs or are a dealer come to Brighton, and that we will tolerate and welcome addicts. There are three problems the addicts the dealers and the stupid. The main aim surely is to get rid of the dealers and the council and police must send out a strong message and act that there is zero tolerance for the sake of the whole economy of the city. I hope a new police commissioner will give this their priority. I would not be surprised if we are not the drink death and homeless capital too. only zero tolerance on these issues will stop the citys economy and tourism from declining. bug eye
  • Score: 0

12:47pm Wed 7 Nov 12

freeranter says...

now im no expert in world of drugs but as i go about my business in brighton & hovel i witness whats is very obvious even to the uninitiated drug purchases taking place out in the open on corner of busy streets they dont even hide down back alleys see very little news of police drug busts smashing down drug den doors nothing i dont believe the police are at all proactive in driving the drug and druggie culture out of brighton hove.
now im no expert in world of drugs but as i go about my business in brighton & hovel i witness whats is very obvious even to the uninitiated drug purchases taking place out in the open on corner of busy streets they dont even hide down back alleys see very little news of police drug busts smashing down drug den doors nothing i dont believe the police are at all proactive in driving the drug and druggie culture out of brighton hove. freeranter
  • Score: 0

2:10pm Wed 7 Nov 12

theleftygiraffe says...

Legalise and regulate popular drugs and people will stop dying from taking legal highs which aren't tested and from taking very low quality street drugs which can be cut with glass, talc, brick and who knows what else. It's a huge waste of time, money and resources trying to stop people taking drugs, especially when the police could be dealing with real crime, so why not just regulate it and make some money off of it?
Legalise and regulate popular drugs and people will stop dying from taking legal highs which aren't tested and from taking very low quality street drugs which can be cut with glass, talc, brick and who knows what else. It's a huge waste of time, money and resources trying to stop people taking drugs, especially when the police could be dealing with real crime, so why not just regulate it and make some money off of it? theleftygiraffe
  • Score: 0

2:46pm Wed 7 Nov 12

lorrie1 says...

localboy78 wrote:
Have you noticed that whenever there is a positive statistic or news item for Brighton and Hove it is banded as just 'Brighton' but whenever there is a negative statistic the full title of the city i.e. Brighton and Hove, is used? I would be interested to find out what percentage of drugs death apply just to the town of Brighton, rather than the unitary authority area of 'Brighton and Hove'. I suspect that the vast majority of cases are in Brighton proper. Yet again Hove's name is being tarnished by Brighton's undesireability!
What a load of s**t!. I know loads of people in HOVE that take hard drugs, I know a lot of people in BRIGHTON as well. The only way to stop this nonsense is to legalize all drugs,
In Portugal where everything is leagal there has been a massive drop in people that use hard drugs(FACT) and the ones who do die are buying unpure products of the street,
[quote][p][bold]localboy78[/bold] wrote: Have you noticed that whenever there is a positive statistic or news item for Brighton and Hove it is banded as just 'Brighton' but whenever there is a negative statistic the full title of the city i.e. Brighton and Hove, is used? I would be interested to find out what percentage of drugs death apply just to the town of Brighton, rather than the unitary authority area of 'Brighton and Hove'. I suspect that the vast majority of cases are in Brighton proper. Yet again Hove's name is being tarnished by Brighton's undesireability![/p][/quote]What a load of s**t!. I know loads of people in HOVE that take hard drugs, I know a lot of people in BRIGHTON as well. The only way to stop this nonsense is to legalize all drugs, In Portugal where everything is leagal there has been a massive drop in people that use hard drugs(FACT) and the ones who do die are buying unpure products of the street, lorrie1
  • Score: 0

7:06pm Wed 7 Nov 12

Freeloaders says...

freeranter wrote:
now im no expert in world of drugs but as i go about my business in brighton & hovel i witness whats is very obvious even to the uninitiated drug purchases taking place out in the open on corner of busy streets they dont even hide down back alleys see very little news of police drug busts smashing down drug den doors nothing i dont believe the police are at all proactive in driving the drug and druggie culture out of brighton hove.
Such a good post my friend i couldn't have put it better myself.Iv been telling the police about this for years & have been doing my best to help a young lady that sells her body most nights off western road in Hove.Iv known her about 3 or 4 years now since she was 19 and believe me how she got into this mess in the first place is very sad.Believe me when i say she is a victim to all the vile bits of scum the police & her key workers just let live off her sad little life.She already has 2 children in care from rapes they did nothing about.Iv even gone to the Argus with the story to try & get some help.If the police care iv never seen it like freeranter said.We are not the same person by the way.
[quote][p][bold]freeranter[/bold] wrote: now im no expert in world of drugs but as i go about my business in brighton & hovel i witness whats is very obvious even to the uninitiated drug purchases taking place out in the open on corner of busy streets they dont even hide down back alleys see very little news of police drug busts smashing down drug den doors nothing i dont believe the police are at all proactive in driving the drug and druggie culture out of brighton hove.[/p][/quote]Such a good post my friend i couldn't have put it better myself.Iv been telling the police about this for years & have been doing my best to help a young lady that sells her body most nights off western road in Hove.Iv known her about 3 or 4 years now since she was 19 and believe me how she got into this mess in the first place is very sad.Believe me when i say she is a victim to all the vile bits of scum the police & her key workers just let live off her sad little life.She already has 2 children in care from rapes they did nothing about.Iv even gone to the Argus with the story to try & get some help.If the police care iv never seen it like freeranter said.We are not the same person by the way. Freeloaders
  • Score: 0

7:09pm Wed 7 Nov 12

Algeria Touchshriek says...

lorrie1 wrote:
localboy78 wrote:
Have you noticed that whenever there is a positive statistic or news item for Brighton and Hove it is banded as just 'Brighton' but whenever there is a negative statistic the full title of the city i.e. Brighton and Hove, is used? I would be interested to find out what percentage of drugs death apply just to the town of Brighton, rather than the unitary authority area of 'Brighton and Hove'. I suspect that the vast majority of cases are in Brighton proper. Yet again Hove's name is being tarnished by Brighton's undesireability!
What a load of s**t!. I know loads of people in HOVE that take hard drugs, I know a lot of people in BRIGHTON as well. The only way to stop this nonsense is to legalize all drugs,
In Portugal where everything is leagal there has been a massive drop in people that use hard drugs(FACT) and the ones who do die are buying unpure products of the street,
If you know "loads of people in HOVE that take hard drugs"

Wow what wonderful circles you move in!

Perhaps you should grass these people up so the vast, vast majority of Brightonians and Hovites who don't actually know these filthy scumbags, and just see the waste and putrid filth they leave behind may feel safer in their homes!

If you accept these rancid cancers in your life by turning a blind eye, you are indirectly accepting the following:

1. AIDS infected needles being shared and left for children to walk on
2. Burglary
3. Robbery
4. Shoplifting
5. Most other thefts in the city
6. Prostitution
7. Knife and gun crime
8. Whatever else.

TELL THE POLICE NOW!!!
[quote][p][bold]lorrie1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]localboy78[/bold] wrote: Have you noticed that whenever there is a positive statistic or news item for Brighton and Hove it is banded as just 'Brighton' but whenever there is a negative statistic the full title of the city i.e. Brighton and Hove, is used? I would be interested to find out what percentage of drugs death apply just to the town of Brighton, rather than the unitary authority area of 'Brighton and Hove'. I suspect that the vast majority of cases are in Brighton proper. Yet again Hove's name is being tarnished by Brighton's undesireability![/p][/quote]What a load of s**t!. I know loads of people in HOVE that take hard drugs, I know a lot of people in BRIGHTON as well. The only way to stop this nonsense is to legalize all drugs, In Portugal where everything is leagal there has been a massive drop in people that use hard drugs(FACT) and the ones who do die are buying unpure products of the street,[/p][/quote]If you know "loads of people in HOVE that take hard drugs" Wow what wonderful circles you move in! Perhaps you should grass these people up so the vast, vast majority of Brightonians and Hovites who don't actually know these filthy scumbags, and just see the waste and putrid filth they leave behind may feel safer in their homes! If you accept these rancid cancers in your life by turning a blind eye, you are indirectly accepting the following: 1. AIDS infected needles being shared and left for children to walk on 2. Burglary 3. Robbery 4. Shoplifting 5. Most other thefts in the city 6. Prostitution 7. Knife and gun crime 8. Whatever else. TELL THE POLICE NOW!!! Algeria Touchshriek
  • Score: 0

7:20pm Wed 7 Nov 12

c.thomas says...

Now that Carlo Dawes has got a heroin dealer off the streets and the heroin addicted Kayleigh has left Brighton maybe next year the figures will be lower
Now that Carlo Dawes has got a heroin dealer off the streets and the heroin addicted Kayleigh has left Brighton maybe next year the figures will be lower c.thomas
  • Score: 0

7:52pm Wed 7 Nov 12

Freeloaders says...

c.thomas wrote:
Now that Carlo Dawes has got a heroin dealer off the streets and the heroin addicted Kayleigh has left Brighton maybe next year the figures will be lower
Can you please tell me if the police new about the victims involvment in the drugs world.Also did it come out in court.
[quote][p][bold]c.thomas[/bold] wrote: Now that Carlo Dawes has got a heroin dealer off the streets and the heroin addicted Kayleigh has left Brighton maybe next year the figures will be lower[/p][/quote]Can you please tell me if the police new about the victims involvment in the drugs world.Also did it come out in court. Freeloaders
  • Score: 0

8:04pm Wed 7 Nov 12

Hove Actually says...

Just a couple of thoughts

Q1 How much has this small reduction cost the rest of us taxpayers?

Q2 Why do they call them Drug Related Deaths when they are clearly Suicide?

With all the information available today and the free help, choosing to inject an unknown substance into your body is not that far from playing russian roulette
Just a couple of thoughts Q1 How much has this small reduction cost the rest of us taxpayers? Q2 Why do they call them Drug Related Deaths when they are clearly Suicide? With all the information available today and the free help, choosing to inject an unknown substance into your body is not that far from playing russian roulette Hove Actually
  • Score: 0

9:39am Thu 8 Nov 12

Dr Pork says...

c.thomas wrote:
Now that Carlo Dawes has got a heroin dealer off the streets and the heroin addicted Kayleigh has left Brighton maybe next year the figures will be lower
Yes he's clearly a pillar of the community and should really have been rewarded for his single-handed fight against crime rather than jailing him for a brutal murder.
Maybe B&H council could install a searchlight like in Batman to light up the sky whenever he's needed, then everyone would feel that much safer.
[quote][p][bold]c.thomas[/bold] wrote: Now that Carlo Dawes has got a heroin dealer off the streets and the heroin addicted Kayleigh has left Brighton maybe next year the figures will be lower[/p][/quote]Yes he's clearly a pillar of the community and should really have been rewarded for his single-handed fight against crime rather than jailing him for a brutal murder. Maybe B&H council could install a searchlight like in Batman to light up the sky whenever he's needed, then everyone would feel that much safer. Dr Pork
  • Score: 0

2:11pm Thu 8 Nov 12

odear says...

Yet again Hove's name is being tarnished by Brighton's undesireability !ocalboy78 says..

Come on if you be a localboy78 hove is as bad as Brighton year ago painting job on in hove poets corner the next thing black vans cars armed police banging on the door wanting get into the back garden 3 men hiding out [what were they hiding, um
Yet again Hove's name is being tarnished by Brighton's undesireability !ocalboy78 says.. Come on if you be a localboy78 hove is as bad as Brighton year ago painting job on in hove poets corner the next thing black vans cars armed police banging on the door wanting get into the back garden 3 men hiding out [what were they hiding, um odear
  • Score: 0

3:48pm Thu 8 Nov 12

The Queen says...

Nice People Take Drugs Too :)
I agree there are scumbags (on drugs) that need taking off the streets...but this is because they are scumbags, not for any other reason.
Nice People Take Drugs Too :) I agree there are scumbags (on drugs) that need taking off the streets...but this is because they are scumbags, not for any other reason. The Queen
  • Score: 0

4:15pm Thu 8 Nov 12

Roundbill says...

I'm just going to leave some spare pieces of punctuation here, for a few of the previous commentators to use in their posts. Help yourselves, folks! :o)


. . , . ' ' , ' : " . " ; : .
I'm just going to leave some spare pieces of punctuation here, for a few of the previous commentators to use in their posts. Help yourselves, folks! :o) . . , . ' ' , ' : " . " ; : . Roundbill
  • Score: 0

10:00pm Thu 8 Nov 12

SuzieB says...

The date of this report is particularly poignant for me as it's exactly 7 years since my son was found dead from heroin poisoning in a B&B after being discharged from a psychiatric hospital after a 5 month stay. I know that aftercare services for those with severe mental health problems have improved since then but there is still a great shortage of good, supported accommodation for those who need it. Had it been available to my son he may still be here.
The date of this report is particularly poignant for me as it's exactly 7 years since my son was found dead from heroin poisoning in a B&B after being discharged from a psychiatric hospital after a 5 month stay. I know that aftercare services for those with severe mental health problems have improved since then but there is still a great shortage of good, supported accommodation for those who need it. Had it been available to my son he may still be here. SuzieB
  • Score: 0

5:14pm Mon 19 Nov 12

tooned_in says...

the large proportion of drugs death are by heroin users, not sure many heroin users go night clubbing, most are homelss or serial burglars/shoplifters and dancing the night away seems to be very low on their list of priorities...
Everytime the argus mentions a drugs related story the one word the keeps creeping up is "Scousers" the whole city knows they are in the area and controlling the distribution of heroin why aren't the police investiagting this blatant knowledge!!
the large proportion of drugs death are by heroin users, not sure many heroin users go night clubbing, most are homelss or serial burglars/shoplifters and dancing the night away seems to be very low on their list of priorities... Everytime the argus mentions a drugs related story the one word the keeps creeping up is "Scousers" the whole city knows they are in the area and controlling the distribution of heroin why aren't the police investiagting this blatant knowledge!! tooned_in
  • Score: 0

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