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Drug-related deaths increase in Britain
August 03,2017   By:Xinhua
LONDON, Aug.3,2017-- More than 3,700 drug deaths were reported in England and Wales in 2016, the highest number since the early 1990s, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported Wednesday.
 
Of those who died from drug poisoning, 2,593, or almost 70 percent of deaths were as a result of illegal drugs, said ONS.
 
Most drug-related deaths claimed the lives of men (2,572), whereas 1,172 women died as a result of drugs.
 
In its report, ONS said almost 12 percent of men aged 16 to 59 years had taken an illegal drug in the last year, compared with five percent of women, partly explaining the higher mortality rate for drug misuse in males.
 
The highest death toll last year was among people aged 40 to 49, overtaking those aged 30 to 39 who topped the fatality chart in 2015.
 
ONS said that within England, the northeast region had the highest mortality rate from drug misuse in 2016 for the fourth year running (77.4 deaths per million), while the East Midlands had the lowest (29.1 deaths per million).
 
The mortality rate from drug misuse in Wales rose from 58.3 deaths per million people in 2015 to 66.9 in 2016.
 
ONS also said that while deaths involving heroin or morphine remained stable in 2016, deaths involving cocaine have continued to rise. In 2016, there were 371 deaths involving cocaine, a 16-percent increase from 2015.
 
The ONS figures came as Britain's National Crime Agency reported that in the past eight months at least 60 drugs deaths in Britain have been linked to fentanyl, an opioid that is being mixed with street heroin to make it more potent.
 
Reports say the added drug is a synthetic opioid, 100 times stronger than heroin, and is sometimes prescribed as a painkiller for terminally ill people. Its analogue carfentanyl is 10,000 times stronger and is used as an elephant tranquilliser.
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