Opiate deaths hit peak.
Byline: Claire Miller Reporter email@example.com
THE number of opiaterelated deaths in Teesside has hit a five-year peak.
There was a total of 23 deaths involving opiates such as heroin across the area in 2014, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the highest number in a year since 2010.
This included 12 deaths in Middlesbrough, eight in Stockton and three in Redcar and Cleveland.
The number of deaths involving opiates in Middlesbrough doubled in a year from six in 2013. The figures include deaths where the underlying cause was drug-related and an opiate was mentioned on the death certificate Between 2010 to 2014, there were 72 deaths involving opiates across the three council areas, of which 15 were ruled as suicides.
The deaths cover all those that mention an opiate, except those that only mention methadone or buprenorphine, which are often prescribed to treat opiate addictions, without another opiate.
During the five years, there were 12 deaths involving methadone or buprenorphine without another opiate in Stockton, and seven in Middlesbrough.
Across England, the number of opiate-related deaths also hit a five-year high, with a rise of a fifth in a year.
There was a total of 1,507 deaths involving opiates such as heroin in 2014 in England, according to figures released by the ONS.
This was the highest number in a year since 2010, and a rise of 20% from 1,256 in 2013.
Across the five-year period, from 2010 to 2014, there were 5,928 deaths involving opiates across England, of which 1,503 were ruled as suicides.
During the five years, there were 1,345 deaths involving methadone or buprenorphine without another opiate.