Saturday, September 5, 2015

Death by illegal drug, in England and Japan

It seems that English people is involved in the problem of drug misuse.

Office of National Statistics published the data of fatal drug poisoning. According to the official statistics, 3,346 deaths (39.9 per million population) is the highest since records began in 1993.

International Business Times: Drug overdose deaths in England and Wales highest since records began

More than two-thirds of mortality were due to the illegal drug, not surprisingly. Raised fatality is partially attributed to cocaine purity by the users, according to the National Crime Agency.

On the other hand, antidepressants related deaths are also at highest since 1999. It suggests that some flaws about mental health care are relevant to this problem.

I am not sure about the reason of raised death, nor whether these data is statistically significant. But there are several factors contributing to lowered performance of mental health care, such as austerity policy and refugee crisis.

In my observation, offenders with mental disorders in England are frequently using illegal drugs. Cannabis is experienced by almost all offenders. Cocaine is also common. They are encouraged to attend local meetings in which peer counseling and behavioral therapy. However, their motivation to get out of illicit drugs is generally weak, and many members drop out.

The situation is similar in Japan. By contrast, methamphetamine is dominant as a substance in Japan, and most providers belong to the antisocial organization. This fact has been advantageous for the police to control the delivery of illegal drugs.

Recently, however, many new types of drugs were introduced. The government revised the legislation to regulate the whole harmful substance, calling them "dangerous drugs." They often include many uncertain additives, which sometimes cause fatal influence to the body of users. Besides the risk of the poisonous substance itself, some cases attracted public attention, in which a vehicle driver using drugs caused a fatal traffic accident.

Considering the current trend, I am worrying about the spread of harmful drugs also in Japan. The best way to protect potential users from exposure to such drugs is educational intervention in the early stage. I expect the government and school teachers to enlighten children in an appropriate way.

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