Expert on drug-related mortality for the UK Focal Point on Drugs

Project: Consultancy

Project Details


Based in Public Health England since April 2013 (but formerly at the Department of Health) and the North West Public Health Observatory, the UK Focal Point collates data and information on drug misuse in the UK and reports it to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

The UK Focal Point forms part of the European Information Network on Drugs and Drug Addiction (Reitox) along with Focal Points in the other European Union Member States, Norway and the European Commission. As a member of Reitox, the UK Focal Point is responsible for undertaking a set of agreed core tasks. Information on the tasks and activities of the Reitox network can be found on the EMCDDA website.

The UK Focal Point has a number of partners who assist us to meet our responsibilities. These include other government departments, the devolved administrations and experts.

Layman's description

Key Indicators

The EU Drugs Action Plan requires member states to work with the EMCDDA to provide reliable and comparable data on five key epidemiological indicators covering:

Prevalence and patterns of drug use among the general population (population surveys);
Prevalence and patterns of problem drug use (statistical prevalence/incidence estimates and surveys among drug users);
Prevalence and incidence rates of drug-related infectious diseases (prevalence and incidence rates of HIV, hepatitis B and C in injecting drug users);
Drug-related deaths amongst drug users (general population mortality special registers statistics, and mortality cohort studies among drug users); and
Drug treatment demand (statistics from drug treatment centres on clients starting treatment).

Detailed information on each of the indicators can be found on the relevant pages of the EMCDDA website.

The UK Focal Point works in conjunction with leading experts for each of the indicators, who provide valuable data and information about their fields. Workshops are held to discuss and agree what data is available for each indicator in the UK and each year the experts compile a report on the status of implementation of the relevant indicator. The latest reports are available below.

The Focal Point also works with the devolved administrations to improve the comparability of data both within the UK and at EU level. Comparability of data presents particular challenges for countries like the UK where established data sources, which do not comply precisely with the European protocols, exist. Devolution of responsibility for a range of policy areas to administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales also means that data availability may vary across the UK.

The work of the Focal Point concentrates on improving consistency with the EMCDDA protocols and specifications and on improving comparability of data between the four UK administrations, wherever possible.

Key findings

See latest annual report -
Effective start/end date1/01/95 → …


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