The latest drug related deaths figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for England and Wales have reported an increase in drug related deaths in 2019.
Some key figures from the data show:
Karen Tyrell, Executive Director at Humankind, said: “Sadly, year on year we are seeing an increase in drug related deaths and every single one has a huge impact on families and friends. Our thoughts go out to the thousands of people that have lost someone in these tragic circumstances.
“There is still a huge amount of stigma for people that use drugs but we must remember that behind each of these numbers are individuals who have often been through traumatic events and are in desperate need of support to help them deal with that.
“Every death is preventable and we believe there must be a step change to better support vulnerable people. The fact that drug related death figures are highest in the North East, one of the most deprived areas in England, is not surprising. The use of drugs is often related to people’s circumstances and interlinked with housing, employment and mental health.
“Drug and alcohol treatment services are operating under immense pressure as funding continues to reduce but the Dame Carol Black review and lock down provide us with an opportunity for change.
"If you need drug and alcohol services, please do reach out. We’ll be there to help.”