Deaths in the UK from drugs and volatile substances - monitoring programmes

First published: 10 May 2019 | Last updated: 20 May 2019

The principal aim of the national programme on Substance Abuse Deaths (np-SAD) is to reduce and prevent drug-related deaths in the UK due to the misuse of drugs, both licit and illicit, by collecting; analysing; and disseminating information on the extent and nature of drug-related deaths. The programme also monitors deaths associated with abuse of volatile substances (VSA).

The poster describes the work of the np-SAD and VSA projects in terms of their surveillance and monitoring roles and contribution of information to policy-making. An overview of the databases is given, along with a description of the specialist reports and analyses that can be provided for relevant organisations. Health risks and mortality arising from use of new emerging substances is discussed. Functions of the programmes such as being an early warning system for new trends in mortality and drug misuse and the use of data as an indicator to estimate the prevalence of substance-related problems and assess the hazards associated with substance abuse are considered.


Hugh Claridge; John Corkery; Fabrizio Schifano


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Mrs Christine Goodair