Skip Navigation
Search site

This is our old website. Most information can now be found on our new NHS Digital website. Let us know what you think.

Men three times as likely as women to be admitted for a drug-related mental health disorder

November 28, 2013: New figures show that almost three times as many men as women (4,820 and 1,730, respectively) were admitted to hospital with a primary diagnosis of a drug-related mental and behavioural disorder.

*HSCIC must be quoted as the source of these figures

*Regional figures are available

Today's 2012-13 figures show a five per cent rise in overall admissions (6,550) for drug-related mental health and behavioural disorders compared to 2011-12 (6,230). Today's figure is 15 per cent fewer than in 2002-03 (7,690) and admissions for these disorders have fluctuated over the past ten years.

The Statistics on Drug Misuse - England, 2013 report published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) provides a summary of previously published statistics on drug misuse covering prevalence, trends, patterns and health outcomes related to drug misuse as well as new 2012-13 information on hospital admissions.3,4

One in three hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis of drug-related mental health and behavioural disorders were for those aged 25 to 34 years (2,190 out of 6,550). The proportion was similar for those with a primary or secondary diagnosis (19,750 out of 61,140).

Today's report also shows5:

  • The prevalence of school pupils recorded as ever having taking drugs fell by 10 percentage points between 2002 (27 per cent) and 2012 (17 per cent).
  • Cannabis was the most widely used drug in school pupils6 with 8 per cent having used it in 20124 and this was the same figure in 2011.
  • Across England and Wales cannabis was also the most widely used drug in those aged 16 to 59 years where 6 per cent used cannabis in 2012-13 and in 2011-12 this was 7 per cent.4
  • Drug misuse led to 1,500 deaths overall across England and Wales in 2012 which is 110 fewer than last year (1,610, or a fall of 7 per cent).5
  • In 2012-13, London Strategic Health Authority (SHA) had the highest rate of admissions where drug-related mental and behavioural disorders was the primary diagnosis (21 admissions per 100,000 of the population), and South Central SHA had the lowest rate of admissions (5 admissions per 100,000 of the population).

The full report is at


Notes to editors

1. The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) was established on April 1 2013 as an Executive Non Departmental Public Body (ENDPB). It is England's trusted data source, delivering high quality information and IT systems to drive better patient services, care and outcomes. Its work includes publishing more than 220 statistical publications annually; providing a range of specialist data services; managing informatics projects and programmes and developing and assuring national systems against appropriate contractual, clinical safety and information standards.

2. The primary diagnosis is the main reason the patient is receiving care in hospital. Secondary diagnoses are relevant co-morbidities if these have been identified.

3. The data on hospital admissions are based on Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) which provide a provide a breadth of information to a detailed level about NHS-commissioned hospital activity for inpatients in the reporting period April 2012 to March 2013.

HES figures are available from 1989-90 onwards. The quality and coverage of the data have improved over time. These improvements in information submitted by the NHS have been particularly marked in the earlier years and need to be borne in mind when analysing time series. Some of the increase in figures for later years (particularly 2006-07 onwards) may be due to the improvement in the coverage of independent sector activity. Changes in NHS practice also need to be borne in mind when analysing time series. This may be particularly relevant for admissions with a primary or secondary diagnosis where some of the increases may be attributable to changes in recording practice.

4. The latest data for school pupils (those aged 11 to 15 years) is for the calendar year 2012 (January 2012 to December 2012) and for those aged 16 years and above for the financial year 2012-13 (April 2012 to March 2013).

5. The data in this report relate to England unless otherwise specified. Where figures for England are not available, figures for England and Wales or the United Kingdom have been provided. A link to the report can be found here

6. School pupils are defined here as those aged 11 to 15 years old. For the purposes of this release, adults have been defined as aged 16 years and above.

7. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10. Percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole percentage.

8. For media enquiries please contact or 0845 257 6990.

Close iCM Form