Drug dependency in adults
Last updated 4 March 2021 - see all updates
1. Main facts and figures
- in 2014, Black people aged 16 and over were more likely than other ethnic groups to have had a drug dependency in the year before they were surveyed
- Black men were more likely than men from other ethnic groups to have had a drug dependency
- any other apparent differences aren’t reliable, most likely because of the small number of people surveyed
2. Things you need to know
What the data measures
The data shows the percentage of people aged 16 and over in England who experienced possible drug dependency in the year before being surveyed.
People were asked about their use of drugs over the past month and over the past year, including their: * daily use for 2 weeks or more * sense of need or dependence * inability to abstain * increased tolerance * withdrawal symptoms
A positive response to any of the questions was used as an indicator of possible drug dependency.
Percentages have been rounded to 1 decimal point.
Not included in the data
The data does not include:
- people who live in institutional settings, such as hospitals or prisons
- people who live in temporary housing, such as hostels or bed and breakfasts
- homeless people
The ethnic groups used in the data
Data is shown for 5 aggregated ethnic groups:
This means estimates are shown for these groups as a whole. This is because the number of people surveyed was too small to make any reliable conclusions about any of the 18 ethnic groups.
It is unlikely that everyone who experienced possible drug dependency responded accurately when surveyed, particularly when interviewed in person. People were more likely to respond accurately in the self-completion section of the survey, but not everyone completed that section.
The statistics have been age-standardised so comparisons can be made between ethnic groups as if they had the same age profile (the number of people of different ages within an ethnic group). They do not show the actual percentage of people in each ethnic group who experienced possible drug dependency.
The figures on this page are based on survey data. Find out more about:
- interpreting survey data, including how reliability is affected by the number of people surveyed
- how weighting is used to make survey data more representative of the whole population
In the data file
3. By ethnicity and sex
Summary of Drug dependency in adults By ethnicity and sex Summary
4. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
Every 7 years (further publications dependent on further surveys being commissioned)
Purpose of data source
The Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey provides data on the prevalence of treated and untreated psychiatric disorders in English adults aged 16 and over.
5. Download the data
This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, geography, sex, value, drug type, confidence intervals, and sample size