Blackpool had the highest rate of drug-related deaths in England and Wales from 2013-15, new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed.
Some 76 people – an average of 19 per 100,000 population – died as a result of both legal and illegal drug use – as the number of deaths nationally hit its highest number since comparable records began in 1993.
The data also revealed men are three times more likely to die, and deaths involving heroin and morphine had doubled to 1,201 in 2015, again the highest ever number recorded.
Deaths involving cocaine also reached an all time high in 2015 when there were 320 deaths – up from 247 in 2014.
People aged 30 to 39 had the highest mortality rate from drug misuse, followed by people aged 40 to 49.
ONS researcher Vanessa Fearn said: “Deaths involving heroin and morphine have more than doubled since 2012, partly driven by a rise in heroin purity and availability over the last three years.
“Age is also a factor in the record levels of drug deaths, as heroin users are getting older and they often have other conditions, such as lung disease and hepatitis, that make them particularly vulnerable.”