Finding useful statistics [UK]

First published: 22/05/2018 | Last updated: October 13th, 2020

There are a number of places where you can find statistics or information on the prevalence and patterns of alcohol, drug, and tobacco use on the Internet. The following list of selected resources is broken down into the UK’s different geographical regions.

UK Statistics

The Office of National Statistics provides data on smoking and drinking habits in Great Britain, deaths related to drug poisoning and drug misuse, and deaths caused by diseases known to be related to alcohol consumption. A new ONS tool, Health and Care statistics for England,  published 2020, brings together health statistics from across government in one place and includes alcohol, drug use and smoking.

National Statistics: Reported road casualities in Great Britain, final estimates involving illegal alcohol levels:2018

UK Focal Point on Drugs provides an annual report on the UK drug situation and collates an extensive range of data, including  drugs policy; legal framework; prevalence and relative importance of different drugs; prevention; treatment; infectious diseases and other harms; drug related deaths; drug use in prisons; and drug markets

Data on Alcohol Related Deaths in the United Kingdom: Deaths caused by diseases known to be related to alcohol consumption, such as cirrhosis of the liver.

ASH – Action on Smoking and Health – series of factsheets on a smoking topics

Alcohol Change UK Factsheet Alcohol Statistics has collated most recent figures with links to sources.

Cancer Research UK maintain a page of Tobacco Statistics  covering a range of topics including tobacco and cancer, tobacco use by age, UK regions, socioeconomic use

House of Commons Library Briefing – summarises statistics on smoking among adults in Great Britain and children in England and Scotland.

England

Drug Misuse Statistics is  a series examining the extent and trends in illicit drug use among a sample of 16 to 59 year olds in England and Wales.

Home Office Alcohol and Drug Statistics Collection brings together all documents relating to alcohol and drug statistics including alcohol licensing and drug seizures and misuse.  The Home Office have also produced a useful guide to their drug misuse statistics

National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS) Official statistics produced by the National Drug Evidence Centre at the University of Manchester captures data about structured drug treatment at tiers 3 and 4 (i.e. structured community-based services, or residential and inpatient services) for those individuals whose drug use has become problematic. The site also announces latest news relating substance misuse statistics.

Smoking in England is a portal for key information about smoking and smoking cessation patterns in England. Section on latest statistics provides a summaries of useful national statistics for the current year, including information on smoking prevalence, motivation to stop, quit attempts, what people use when they try to quit, actual quit rates, regional differences, use of the stop smoking services and more.

Statistics on Smoking, published by NHS Digital presents a range of information on smoking by adults and children drawn together from a variety of sources for England.

Local Tobacco Control Profiles for England – snapshot of the extent of tobacco use, tobacco related harm, and measures being taken to reduce this harm at a local level.

Young People’s data – Smoking, Drinking and Drug use among Young People in England survey was, until 2014, an annual survey of pupils in years 7 – 11 in participating schools across England. The survey provided information on the smoking, drinking and drug use behaviours of young people aged 11 – 15.  Due to lack of funding there was no survey in 2015 with the next being in 2016 and 2018.

The survey included information on: prevalence of smoking, drinking and drug taking among school children; the number of pupils who have never smoked, drunk alcohol or taken drugs; types alcohol and drugs taken; how often pupils smoke, drink and take drugs; where pupils obtain cigarettes, alcoholic drinks and drugs; pupils’ attitudes to these behaviours; predictors of the likelihood of smoking, drinking and drug use among school children

Earlier reports are available online

Drug Deaths Data – Deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales: 2015 registrations is an Office for National Statistics bulletin that reports on deaths related to drug poisoning in England and  Wales from 1993 onwards, by cause of death, sex, age and substances involved in the death. The figures presented show deaths registered each year, rather than deaths occurring each year.

National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths was formally established in 1997, and its aim is to collect and analyse data in a systematic way from various sources to inform policy makers, clinicians, researchers and media on risks associated with premature death due to the misuse of drugs, both licit and illicit. The NPSAD team currently provide, on request, anonymised data, further analysis and enhanced information about drug deaths – details here

Northern Ireland

The NI Department of Health website presents information on the prevalence of drug use, the type of drugs being used and data on persons presenting to treatment services for problem drug misuse. It also includes similar data on alcohol use, and smoking.

Additionally the Northern Ireland Research and Statistics website includes data on Alcohol and Drug Deaths

For forthcoming statistics check the Dept of Health Statistical releases calendar

 

Scotland

ASH Scotland – smoking and health statistics factsheet

Public Health Scotland-  National Naloxone programme Scotland data on the number of take-home naloxone kits

The Scottish Public Health Observatory website provides data on the health of the Scottish population across a wide range of topics. The site has dedicated sections for drugs, gambling, alcohol and tobacco.

The drug data section provides information on various aspects of drug misuse and covers availability and prevalence, social harm, health harm and treatment.

Its key data sources provides links to

  • Scottish Drug Misuse Database
  • NRS: Drug related deaths in Scotland
  • National Drug Related Database
  • Scottish Crime and Justice Survey
  • Recorded Crime in Scotland
  • Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS)

Similarly the alcohol data introductory section covers various aspects of alcohol use and misuse such as availability, licensing, consumption, social and health harms, and treatment. Its key data sources has links to

  • ISD – Alcohol Information
  • General Lifestyle Survey
  • MESAS – Monitoring and Evaluation Scotland’s Alcohol Strategy
  • National Records of Scotland
  • Transport Scotland website
  • Scottish Crime and Justice Survey
  • Scottish Health Survey
  • Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS)

For tobacco use its data introduction focuses mainly on estimates of smoking prevalence in Scotland among adults, pregnant women and young people, and its key data sources link to

  • Scottish Household Survey
  • Scottish Health Survey
  • Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS)
  • Health Behaviour in School-aged Children
  • Smoking Cessation

Upcoming statistics and data from Scotland.

 

Wales

ASH Wales – smoking statistics updated key figures for Wales

Wales Statistics & Research is the source for current and historical releases of official statistics and social and economic research on Wales and includes a range of data from treatment on drugs, alcohol and tobacco. Upcoming statistics and research calendar.

Substance misuse statistics – page includes statistics from the Welsh National Database for Substance Misuse and additional substance misuse related information available from routinely published sources in Wales.

Drug Misuse Statistics a series examining the extent and trends in illicit drug use among a sample of 16 to 59 year olds in England and Wales.

Public Health Wales Alcohol in Wales – an introductory overview with infrmation on consumption, hospital admissions, alcohol mortality and interactive evidence map, produced by the Observatory Evidence Service, explores the evidence surrounding interventions that aim to prevent and reduce alcohol related harm.

Smoking Overview provides links to

  • Introduction
  • Public Health Wales Observatory publications
  • Key data sources
  • Key evidence source

Upcoming statistics and data from Wales.

Keeping up to date – The dates of forthcoming datasets are pre-announced on the Statistics Release Calendar pages of the Gov.uk website and NHS Digital

 

The opinions expressed in this commentary reflect the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions or official positions of the Society for the Study of Addiction.