Substance Misuse

Substance misuse 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.


The estimated prevalence of injecting drug users in Knowsley was lower than the North West region (2.8) and England (2.5) at 1.0 per 1,000 adults aged 15-64. Once more, Knowsley had the 2nd lowest prevalence in the Liverpool City Region.

There has been a significant decrease in estimated OCU use between 2010/11 and 2011/12 in Knowsley, from 13.8 per 1,000 adults aged 15-64 to 9.6 per 1,000. Similarly there has been a significant decrease in opiate use from 12.5 per 1,000 in 2010/11 to 8.6 in 2011/12. There has also been a decrease in injecting use (although not statistically significant), from 1.3 per 1,000 in 2010/11 to 1.0 per 1,000 in 2011/12. However, there has been an increase in the use of crack cocaine which has risen from 6.3 per 1,000 in 2010/11 to 7.3 per 1,000 in 2011/12.

Analysis by age shows that Knowsley has a higher rate of OCU and opiate users in the 35-64 age group than in any other, 12.3 per 1,000 and 11.6 per 1,000 respectively – higher than England (7.3 and 6.5 respectively). However, prevalence is lower in Knowsley for younger adults aged 15-24 and 25-34 than nationally.


The full JSNA report for substance misuse is available here JSNA Report – Substance Misuse and Offenders


Supporting Documents

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