There were 897 deaths involving heroin or morphine in 2008, an 8 per cent rise compared with 2007 and the highest number since 2001. The number of deaths involving methadone rose throughout 2004 to 2008, to 378 in the latest year, an increase of 16 per cent compared with 2007 (and 73 per cent higher than in 2004). There were 235 deaths involving cocaine in 2008, continuing the long-term upward trend.
There were 99 deaths involving amphetamines in 2008, with nearly half of these being accounted for by deaths mentioning ecstasy. Cannabis was mentioned in 19 deaths in 2008, while the number of deaths mentioning GHB rose to 20 in 2008 from 9 in 2007. The number of deaths that mentioned benzodiazepines rose to 230 in 2008, an increase of 11.
Source: Office for National Statistics 26 August 2009