National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths

The Programme's principal aim 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 death.

An annual report is published which analyses drug-related deaths that have occurred in the preceding calendar year and comments on emerging trends. An executive summary of the annual report is also published.

Drug-related deaths in the UK Annual Report 2013 (PDF)

Executive Summary 2013 (PDF)

Drug- related deaths in the UK Annual Report 2012 (PDF)

Executive Summary 2012 (PDF)

Drug-related deaths in the UK Annual Report 2011 (PDF)

Executive Summary 2011 (PDF)

Drug-related deaths in the UK Annual Report 2010 (PDF)

Executive Summary 2010 (PDF)

Drug-related deaths in the UK Annual Report 2009 (PDF)

Executive Summary 2009 (PDF)

Drug-related deaths in the UK Annual Report 2008 (PDF)

Executive Summary 2008 (PDF)

Drug-related deaths in the UK Annual Report 2007 (PDF)

Executive Summary 2007 (PDF)

For hard copies of previous annual reports email

 The np-SAD team can provide further analysis and enhanced information about deaths for Drug Action Teams, Primary Care Trusts, Special Health Authorities and others. For further details please contact

We are often asked about sources of information on drug deaths so we have prepared a Resource List which covers  the United Kingdom (England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland), Eire, Europe, United States and bibliographic resources.

Volatile Substance Abuse

The latest report, Number 24, (PDF) is now available.

Report No 23 (PDF)
Report No 22 (PDF)
Report No 21 (PDF)
Report No 17 (PDF)

St George's has been monitoring deaths associated with the abuse of volatile substances since the early 1980s, and have some data from as far back as 1971 although the data collection methods were not stabilised until 1983. The study was started when it was realised that there was significant under reporting of deaths related to VSA.

We define VSA as the deliberate abuse of a volatile substance to achieve a change in mental state. We define a VSA death as one which would not have occurred if the deceased had not been abusing a volatile substance.

We produce an annual report "Trends in Death Associated with the Abuse of Volatile Substances" which is published in June.

This study is done by the np-SAD team and is funded by the Department of Health.