Drug Use Disorder

Drug use disorder is a complex issue and has a major impact on the health and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities. Those affected by drugs use them compulsively and the effects of substance misuse are cumulative, significantly contributing to poor health, homelessness, family breakdown and offending.


Drug dependence varies from substance to substance, and from individual to individual. Dose, frequency, the pharmacokinetics of a particular substance, route of administration, and time are critical factors for developing drug dependence.

In 2016/17, the proportion of all opiate users in treatment in Knowsley who had successfully completed treatment and did not return within 6 months was 5.6%, which is lower than England (6.7%). In comparison, the proportion of all non-opiate users in treatment in Knowsley who had successfully completed treatment and did not return within 6 months was 41.5%, which is higher than the national figure of 37.1%.

Cannabis was the substance most commonly used by young people in specialist substance misuse services in Knowsley during 2016/17, with 92% doing so (88% nationally). Alcohol was the next most commonly used substance (5% compared to 49% nationally) with 3% of young people accessing drug use disorder services in Knowsley using stimulants (ecstasy, cocaine, amphetamines), compared to 11% nationally citing problematic ecstasy use, 9% citing problematic cocaine use and 3% citing problematic amphetamine use.


The full JSNA report for Drug Use Disorder is available here JSNA Report – Drug Use Disorder 2018 v7


Supporting Documents

Needle Exchange Services in Knowsley: An investigation into the needs and experiences of staff and service users – Needle Exchange Service in Knowsley