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Drug deaths in England and Wales highest on record

The number of drug-related deaths in England and Wales reached the highest number last year since records began in 1993, according to official figures.

The Office for National Statistics revealed there were 4,561 drug poisoning deaths in 2020, a 3.8 per cent rise on the number of registered deaths in 2019, with 109.7 male deaths per million compared with 49.8 female deaths.

About half of all deaths last year, 2,263 in total, involved an opiate while 777 deaths involved cocaine, a 9.7 per cent increase on 2019.

The report said two-thirds of deaths caused by drug poisoning last year were “related to drug misuse” which equated to 52.3 deaths per million people.

Higher rates of drug misuse were found among people born in the 1970s, especially the 45 to 49 age group, while the North East had the highest rate of deaths with 104.6 per million people. The lowest rate at 33.1 deaths per million was found in London.



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