Scarborough has ninth highest rate of deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales

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Scarborough had the ninth highest rate of deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales between 2016 and 2018, according to new figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Drug poisoning accounted for 14.9 of every 100,000 deaths in the borough during the time frame when the average in England was 6.7.

This graph shows the local authorities with the 10 highest rates of death by drug poisoning per 100,000 between 2016 and 2018 compared to England's average and London.

This graph shows the local authorities with the 10 highest rates of death by drug poisoning per 100,000 between 2016 and 2018 compared to England's average and London.

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The rate in Scarborough was higher than London (4.8), Manchester (10.8), Leeds (9.4) and Birmingham (7.9).

Between 2016 and 2018, 40 of the 106 (38 per cent) drug poisoning deaths registered in North Yorkshire happened in Scarborough, of which 25 were men and 15 were women.

The borough also had the tenth highest rate of deaths relating to drug misuse in England and Wales at 10.7 per 100,000 compared to an average in England of 4.5.

Drug poisoning deaths involve a wider range of substances including controlled and non-controlled drugs, prescription and over the counter medications.

As well as deaths from drug misuse, drug poisoning figures include accidents and suicides and complications of drug abuse such as deep vein thrombosis or septicaemia from intravenous drug use.

Over half of all drug poisoning deaths involve more than one drug and sometimes alcohol, and it is often not possible to tell which substance was primarily responsible for the death.

A drug misuse death is defined as one where either the underlying cause is drug abuse, drug dependence or drug poisoning involving any substance controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

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North Yorkshire Horizons is the drug and alcohol recovery service for North Yorkshire which provides free, confidential services for individuals affected by drugs or alcohol and their families.

Horizons is a partnership of Humankind, Spectrum and CGL.

A spokesman for the service said of the latest figures: "It doesn’t have to be this way.

"These harrowing statistics outline the urgent need for investment in frontline services so that deaths can be prevented among users not currently accessing treatment.

"Reductions in funding must be reversed in order to allow lifesaving interventions which have been significantly reduced in scope, such as user outreach and needle exchanges, to meet demand.

Humankind is also calling for the opioid overdose reverser naloxone to be made readily available across England, in line with World Health Organisation and Public Health England recommendations.

They added: "Lives could be saved if those most likely to experience an opioid overdose had access - such as police officers and paramedics, but also dependent prisoners upon release.

"A recent study has shown that overdoses account for 85 percent of all deaths in the first week post-release."

In 2018 England & Wales saw 4,359 deaths as a result of drug poisoning which was a 16 per cent increase on the year before and was also by far the highest number of recorded fatalities in a single year since these statistics started being recorded.

Opiates such as heroin and morphine continued to be the deadliest nationwide in 20018 however deaths from cocaine have doubled from 2015 to 2018.