News story

The health-related harms of drugs

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The health harms arising from licit and illicit substance use and misuse are wide-ranging and vary depending on the substance used and the pattern and context of their use, but it is well established that their use represents a major public health burden.

This report, The summary of the health harms of drugs, summarises the health-related harms of emerging and established licit and illicit drugs, providing an update to the 2003 “Dangerousness of drugs” guide.

The updated guide considers new drugs, such as novel synthetic drugs, and takes a more in-depth look at the potential harms of using more than one drug and the adulterants commonly added to illegal drugs.