Alcohol and drugs

Alcohol licensing

Data on the number of licensed premises is published as part of the alcohol and late night refreshment licensing series, produced by the Home Office. It also includes information on the type of licence and the number of withdrawn licences.

Illicit drug use

Use of illicit drugs is monitored as part of the Crime Survey for England and Wales, however it only captures a partial view of drug use as many users will not be contacted to take part in this household survey. A separate report on these findings are published by the Home Office every year.

Drug misuse is recorded as part of the crime survey for England and Wales but the size and nature of the issue means there’s a dedicated release published every year by the Home Office.

Looking at trends in illicit drug use among adults (16 to 59 years old), it includes information on whether survey participants have ever used a range of illicit drugs, how frequently people used drugs in the last year, how accessible drugs are, and attitudes to drug taking. The data is broken down by type of drug, individual and household characteristics, and lifestyle.

Information about illicit drug use among young people is also available from the Smoking, Drinking and Drug use among Young People in England survey. This is a survey of secondary school pupils (aged 7 to 15).

Comparisons of illicit drug use across Europe and how it is dealt with is compiled in an annual report by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.

In addition, Public Health England publishes information every year on the personal characteristics (such as age, sex and ethnicity) of drug users in treatment.

Figures for drug misuse recorded by the Department of Health – including data on hospital admissions, treatment, drug-related deaths and problem adult and child drug users – are published every year by the Health and Social Care Information Centre. There is some overlap with the Home Office’s data.

Drug seizures

The police and UK Border Agency (UKBA) regularly conduct seizures of drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Figures for the number of seizures made by police forces and the UKBA are published in the Home Office’s seizures of drugs annual statistics. The data is analysed by: class of drug, specific type of drug, quantity of drugs seized, and the place of seizure (local authority). There are figures dating back to 2002.