THE REPORT discovered the prevalence of drug and alcohol misuse in the uk 

  • Over a third of people in the UK (36%) consumed drugs over the last 12 months 
  • 22% of adults in Britain increased their alcohol consumption during the pandemic 
  • Prescription drug misuse is on the rise, with 1 in 10 overusing prescribed medication
  • Cannabis is the most commonly used drug in the UK, with a 7% usage in the last year 
  • Brighton was the drug hotspot of the UK, with the highest rate for three drugs 

England and Wales have seen a record number of drug-related deaths during the pandemic in 2020, a total number of 4,561 deaths related to drug poisoning were registered. The new Drug and Alcohol Survey from Delamere, the private rehab clinic, has uncovered the prevalence of drug and alcohol misuse in the UK in a post-pandemic world. 

The addiction experts surveyed 2,000 adults living in the UK on their alcohol and drug consumption over the last 12 months to determine the impact of the pandemic on usage. 

Despite pubs, bars being closed for around 31 weeks in 2020, the pandemic brought an increase to the nation’s drinking habits. The survey found that one in four (22%) of adults had increased their alcohol consumption in the last year. 

Despite the nation living under lockdown restrictions, the findings uncovered that 49% of UK residents had consumed alcohol in the last twelve months alone and 36% had taken drugs. 

According to the survey data, Wales was the location with the eleventh highest concern for drug and substance abuse.

It’s no secret that the coronavirus pandemic and resulting shutdown of social interaction last year caused upheaval in the mental wellbeing of people across the UK. Cannabis has become a feature in many people’s lives during the lockdown, with 7% of the country using it in the last year, making it the most commonly used drug in the UK. 

Although most people take prescription medications responsibly, misuse is becoming a health concern for specialists in the United Kingdom. The survey discovered that one in ten UK residents have overused prescription medication outside of prescriptions. 

A fifth of UK respondents had purchased prescription drugs rather than obtaining them via a GP, with 7% saying they had ordered the medication through the dark web. The biggest prescription problem was found in Wales, London, West Midlands and Edinburgh. 

Experts have warned the use of illegal drugs is rising at an alarming rate across the UK, with some of the boroughs most populated areas among the worst affected areas. Brighton was the drug use hotspot in the South, with the highest rate of use for Cocaine, Ketamine and MDMA use. One in five Brighton residents reported having used cocaine, while one in ten reported using MDMA. 

The use of painkillers such as Codeine and Tramadol outside of a prescription was more prevalent in Belfast and Cardiff had the biggest rate of people taking these drugs outside of a prescription. 

Which cities are using drugs the most? 

CityCities that use each drug the mostResidents who have used the drug 
BelfastPainkillers3 in 10
LiverpoolCannabisOver 3 in 10
LiverpoolEcstasy1 in 6
Liverpool“Legal” Highs1 in 10
CardiffPrescription Drugs1 in 6
BrightonKetamine1 in 14
BrightonMDMA1 in 10
BrightonCocaine1 in 5
SheffieldOver the Counter MedicationOver 1 in 6
SheffieldHeroin1 in 20

The use of painkillers such as Codeine and Tramadol outside of a prescription was more prevalent in Belfast and Cardiff had the biggest rate of people taking these drugs outside of a prescription.