59 per cent of Big Issue vendors surveyed reported 'a long-term illness, health problem or handicap' limiting their daily activities or work. Of these, 31 per cent believed their problem to be drug-related.
Of the 70 per cent using drugs not prescribed to them, 75 percent were using heroin and 40 per cent crack cocaine.
12 per cent reported an alcohol problem but 43 per cent claimed not to drink at all.
High numbers reported chest and respiratory problems, muscular or skeletal problems, dental and dietary problems.
39 per cent had previously attempted suicide.