DRUGS claimed the lives of more than 50 people in Coventry over two years new figures reveal.
The statistics from NHS Digital – which revealed the number of city drug deaths between 2016 and 2018 – also show the 10,900 related drug deaths nationally was the highest since records began in 1993. In Coventry the earliest record for the drug-related deaths was between 2001 to 2003 when there were 43.
The NHS Digital statistics also show drug-related admissions to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire has risen slightly since last year.
A total of 70 people were hospitalised for drug-related mental health disorders, and in 650 admissions drugs were believed to be a factor in the patient’s mental health or behavioural issues.
And around 130 people were also admitted to hospital with drug poisoning.
Deaths due to drugs include intentional and unintentional poisoning through prescription, over the counter and illegally obtained drugs.
It also includes deaths from drug abuse and dependence, suicides and complications of drug taking such as deep vein thrombosis or septicaemia.
Ben Humberstone, deputy director for health analysis at the Office of National Statistics, said: “The number of deaths registered from drug use in 2018 was the highest since our records began in 1993. We have also seen the biggest year-on-year percentage increase.
“Previously, this had been linked to a rise in deaths related to opiates like heroin and morphine, but last year there were also increases in deaths across a wider variety of substances including cocaine and what had been known as “legal highs.
“We produce these figures to help inform decision makers working towards protecting those at risk of dying from drug poisoning.”