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Men account for majority of drug-related deaths

New figures paint a picture of widespread drug addiction and misuse in England and Wales.

The latest data from the NHS Information Centre reveal that 13.2 per cent of men and 6.9 per cent of women reported taking illicit drugs in 2006/07.

A total of 1,573 people died as a result of drug misuse in 2006, 79 per cent of whom were male.

The figures also reveal that 4,715 men and 2,019 women were admitted to hospital in England in 2006/07, with drug-related mental and behaviour disorders being the most common diagnosis.

Tim Straughan, chief executive of the NHS Information Centre, said that there is a "wide discrepancy" between the number of men and women who take and are treated for drug addiction.

"The fact 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 claimed.

Andrew Lansley, the shadow health secretary, said that the figures paint a "bleak" picture.

"Clearly too few people who misuse drugs are being identified and admitted to drug rehabilitation courses early on, which has contributed to this worrying rise in admissions to hospitals," he added.

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Men account for majority of drug-related deaths
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