PORTSMOUTH is one of the worst places in the UK for heroin and morphine deaths, according to statistics.
Figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that Portsmouth is in the top 10 in the United Kingdom for deaths due to heroin or morphine.
In Portsmouth, for every 100,000 deaths, 5.2 were connected to heroin or morphine.
The list released by the ONS features a number of coastal areas, including Brighton, Bournemouth and Blackpool.
The highest death rate came from Blackpool with 14 heroine and morphine related deaths per 100 people.
The Office for National Statistics said: ‘Places that may have been more synonymous with family holidays are among the 10 areas that saw the highest rates of drugs misuse fatalities where heroin and/or morphine were mentioned on the death certificate.
‘There were 3,744 drug poisoning deaths – involving both legal and illegal drugs – registered in 2016 in England and Wales.
‘Of those deaths, 2,593 were from drug misuse, which represents 69 per cent of total deaths.
‘In 1993 the proportion was 38 per cent.’
Leader of Portsmouth City Council Cllr Donna Jones says that the news should be a ‘wake-up call’ for the government to take action.
She said: ‘While I am disappointed to hear the news I’m sadly not surprised.
‘This should be a wake-up call for the government to help coastal communities that were once based on tourism.
‘We are working with very hard with Hampshire Constabulary and education to make sure people are more aware of the effects of drugs on themselves and the community.
‘Police are working closely with Portsmouth City Council and we have plans to reduce the issue of drug-related deaths in the city.’