In­crease of more than 50 per cent in three years

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - YOUR TELEGRAPH - By Joel Lamy joel.lamy@jpress.co.uk Twit­ter: @PTJoelLamy

The num­ber of peo­ple dy­ing from drugs in Peter­bor­ough has risen by 50 per cent over a three year pe­riod.

The num­ber of drug-re­lated deaths has risen from 23 in 2011-13 to 34 in 2014-16, ac­cord­ing to new fig­ures from the Of­fice for Na­tional Sta­tis­tics. Twenty-eight of the peo­ple who died were men and six were women.

A Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil spokesman said: “On a na­tional level there has been an in­crease in the avail­abil­ity and pu­rity of heroin over re­cent years and a higher pro­por­tion of older heroin users in treat­ment with in­creas­ingly com­plex health needs.”

He added: “We con­tinue to work with a range of lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions in the city to re­spond to the harm caused by drug use. This in­cluded an au­dit of drug re­lated deaths which oc­curred in 2015 in or­der to help fo­cus fu­ture harm re­duc­tion work and re­sources.”

Ed Mor­row, drugs pol­icy lead at the Royal So­ci­ety for Pub­lic Health, said: “While the UK Gov­ern­ment stub­bornly re­fuses to make mean­ing­ful moves towards a more pro­gres­sive, pub­lic health-based ap­proach to drug pol­icy, and while lo­cal author­ity treat­ment bud­gets con­tinue to be cut, it should come as no sur­prise that drug deaths in Eng­land and Wales are con­tin­u­ing to rise.”

In 2016 there was the high­est num­ber of drug-re­lated deaths in Eng­land since records be­gan in 1993.

A Gov­ern­ment spokesper­son said drug mis­use is lower than it was 10 years ago and that last month it re­leased a com­pre­hen­sive new drugs strat­egy.

Sup­port for sub­stance abuse in Peter­bor­ough is pro­vided by CPL As­pire - www. change­growlive.org/con­tent/ as­pire-peter­bor­ough.

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