A coordinated response to the high drug death rate in Brighton & Hove

Jennifer Bennett, Graham Stevens, Angeline Walker, Hugh Williams, Andy Winter, Veronica Hamilton-Deeley

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapterpeer-review


Concern about the increasing number of drug related deaths in Brighton & Hove prompted a Confidential Inquiry into 69 deaths. This led to recommendations concerning better data collection, identifying vulnerable populations, improving responses to overdose, and modifying service organization. Heroin-related deaths were halved between 2000 and 2003, but the rate for total drug deaths remained the highest at 25.3 per 100,000 (2003) in participating coroners’ jurisdictions. In a subsequent Capture Recapture study, the prevalence of intravenous drug use in Brighton & Hove was estimated at 2 per cent of people aged 15-44, higher than Liverpool or London. The proportion of opiate drug users dying from opiate overdose was also highest in Brighton & Hove, at 2.1 per cent. A network of interlocking services was established within strong multi-agency partnerships, supplemented by: increasing the numbers in treatment; fast tracking hospital discharges and prison releases into treatment; new specialist posts in the local prison, the accident and emergency department and police custody suite; and participation by pharmacists and primary care services. This was underpinned by good liaison with the coroner.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProbation Journal
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Publication series

NameProbation Journal


  • confidential inquiry
  • injecting
  • intravenous drug use
  • multi-agency
  • partnership
  • probation
  • reducing drug deaths

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