Brighton and Hove may have regained the unenviable title of the UK’s drug death capital – but the most common substance people overdosed on last year paracetamol.
Figures released to Brighton and Hove News under the Freedom of Information Act show that 215 people came to the Royal Sussex Hospital with an overdose of the common painkiller – and another 14 with aspirin.
In contrast, 69 presented with an opiate overdose, 77 with analgesics, 44 with anti-depressants, 18 with amphetamines, 11 with hallucinogens, and 58 with benzodiazepine (used to treat anxiety and alcohol addiction, and often available on the streets as temazepam).
Seventy people sought medical treatment after taking too many sedatives, and 77 with analgesics, and a further 11 after eating too many poisonous berries or plants, and three too much petrol.
However, the most common type of overdose was a mix of substances, which 498 people presented with.
In total, 1,115 people came to hospital with an overdose, of whom 102 were admitted. The rest were mainly sent home or referred to their GP or the community psychiatric team.
The figures do not record which overdoses were accidental or deliberate self-harm attempts.
A paracetamol overdose can cause serious liver damage or even death, although there might not be any symptoms in the early stages.
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