Cause and manner of death associated with use of NPS: a population-wide data analysis of the UK since 2007

First published: 13 March 2019 | Last updated: 27 March 2019


Dr Lucy Webb

Senior Lecturer

Lucy Webb is a Reader in psychosocial health, specialising in substance misuse and mental health among adults and young people. Currently Lucy’s quantitative research involves desktop examination of datasets regarding drug-related deaths, especially New Psychoactive Substances, and health risks for ageing substance users. She is also involved in an end of life care project examining mortality and morbidity of long-term drug and alcohol  users and their access to end of life care.

This presentation will focus on an analysis of national related deaths data involving new psychoactive substances. Over 500 deaths have occurred in the four home nations of the UK up to 2016 involving new psychoactive substances and the rate of mortality is rising with the popularity of the drugs, access and variability in their makeup. Current analysis shows that drug deaths related to NPS occur among a younger cohort in comparison with heroin and cocaine deaths, deaths are more common among males than females, in comparison with heroin and cocaine related deaths, that cause of death is typically associated with a cardio-vascular event and poly-substance use is most likely to be the norm. Our analysis looks at cause of death, drugs present at toxicology, drug levels and demographics of NPS death cohorts.




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Dr Lucy Webb