Our response to figures about hospital admissions for mental health and drug problems

05 March 2020

NHS figures released about hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis of drug-related mental health and behavioural disorders show that there were 7,545 hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis of drug-related mental health and behavioural disorders. This is 12% lower than 2015/16 but 12% higher than 2006/07 


In response, Danielle Hamm, Associate Director of Policy and Campaigns at Rethink Mental Illness said:


“Certain drugs have been known to prompt a mental illness – for example strong cannabis known as “skunk” has been linked to schizophrenia. We also know that using drugs when you have a mental health problem can complicate your recovery, and can increase the likelihood of self-harm and suicide. 

"We need more research on this, as it’s a complex area and there a myriad of reasons for the rise in people being admitted to hospital because of both drug and mental health problems over the last decade (although figures show a decrease in many areas in the last year). More awareness of the problem could be one reason; or if a drug and alcohol unit in an area has closed then it would also affect the number of people going to the nearest hospital for treatment. We also don’t know whether it’s the same people being admitted over and over, or different people every time.

"The details are hazy, but the most important thing is that people who are in need know where to go to get help, so we  would encourage anyone who is worried about their mental health and their drug use to contact their GP.”

Rethink Mental Illness has a free factsheet on this topic 


For more information contact the Rethink Mental Illness media team on 0207 840 3138 (this number is redirected to the person on call during out of hours)


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