Drug-Related Deaths

The annual Drug-Related and Drug Misuse Deaths, Northern Ireland release presents statistics on the most recent official death registration data available on drug-specific mortality across Northern Ireland (NI).  Drug related death figures were first published in Northern Ireland in 2001.  Figures in this release relate to deaths registered in Northern Ireland where the underlying cause of death indicated drug poisoning, abuse or dependence or a controlled drug was involved.

There are two standard definitions associated with drug-related mortality: 

Drug-Related Death - this is when the underlying cause of death recorded on the death certificate is drug poisoning, drug abuse or drug dependence.  These deaths can be identified solely through the International Classification of Diseases (ICD).  The current National Statistics definition and the ICD ninth (ICD-09) and ICD tenth (ICD-10) revision codes used to define drug-related deaths are given in Table 1.

 Table 1: ICD9 and ICD10 codes relating to Drug-Related Deaths

ICD-10 Underlying Cause Code

ICD-09 Underlying Cause Code

Description

F11–F16, F18–F19

292, 304, 305.2–305.9

Mental and behavioural disorders due to drug use (excluding alcohol and tobacco)

X40–X44

E850–E858

Accidental poisoning by drugs, medicaments and biological substances

X60–X64

E950.0–E950.5

Intentional self-poisoning by drugs, medicaments and biological substances

X85

E962.0

Assault by drugs, medicaments and biological substances

Y10–Y14

E980.0–E980.5

Poisoning by drugs, medicaments and biological substances, undetermined intent

 

The second definition is a subset of the definition above and relates to deaths due to; 

Drug-Misuse - deaths where the underlying cause is drug poisoning, drug abuse or drug dependence and where any of the substances controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act (1971) are involved. Further details on this definition for ICD-10 codes are given in Table 2.

 

 Table 2: ICD10 codes relating to Drug-Misuse

ICD-10 Underlying Cause Code

ICD-09 Underlying Cause Code

Description

F11–F16, F18–F19

292, 304, 305.2–305.9

Mental and behavioural disorders due to drug use (excluding alcohol and tobacco)

X40–X44

E850–E858

Accidental poisoning by drugs, medicaments and biological substances

X60–X64

E950.0–E950.5

Intentional self-poisoning by drugs, medicaments and biological substances

X85

E962.0

Assault by drugs, medicaments and biological substances

Y10–Y14

E980.0–E980.5

Poisoning by drugs, medicaments and biological substances, undetermined intent

* excluding alcohol, tobacco and volatile substances

 

 When preparing these statistics the following edits are made:

 1. This definition does not include every death which involved drugs, for example, transport accidents where the driver was under the influence of drugs are excluded. 2. Only deaths related to poisonings by drugs, medicaments and biological substances are included.  Poisonings by other types of chemicals are excluded.

 A list of controlled drugs mentioned on death certificates in Northern Ireland is available below.

Data

Information Papers