The UK's National Treatment Agency has released a new report showing a dramatic drop in the use of heroin and crack cocaine in England, particularly among young people.

On March 6, 2013, the NTA announced that:

According to the new estimates, the number of heroin and crack users fell to 298,752 in 2010-11, from a peak of 332,090 in 2005-06. The number of people injecting drugs has also fallen significantly, from 129,977 in 2005-06 to 93,401 in 2010-11.

These reductions in use are mirrored by a fall in numbers entering treatment for dependency. The number of people starting a new treatment programme for addiction to heroin and/or crack fell from 64,288 in 2005-6 to 47,210 in 2011-12.

However behind this positive picture, an older and vulnerable population of users poses major challenges for local treatment systems. While more and more people have been helped to recover from addiction to heroin and crack, thus contributing to the fall in numbers using these drugs, the proportion of over-35s in treatment has increased and these are more entrenched users who are harder to help. The annual increases in recovery rates seen since 2005-06 will become increasingly difficult to sustain in this environment.


A copy of the full report as well as supporting data are available for download from