How the number of drug deaths where you live has changed in 10 years

Drugs and drug-taking equipment.  Picture: PA/Paul Faith
Drugs and drug-taking equipment. Picture: PA/Paul Faith

Drug deaths have more than doubled in nearly 10 years, new figures show.

In Portsmouth 83 people died in 2015-17 from drug poisonings, with 52 of those linked to misuse.

Office for National Statistics data shows back in 2006-08 there were just 23 drug misuse deaths in the city out of 34 poisoning deaths.

READ MORE: Police make 120 arrests in battle against drug dealers

Deaths overall across the city, Gosport, Havant and Fareham slightly dropped from two years ago but they have more than doubled from 61 to 156 in just under 10 years.

A dedicated police drug squad in Portsmouth has been targeted dealers and made 120 arrests in a year, its new head Detective Chief Inspector Nick Heelan previously told The News.

Drug deaths in 2015-17 compared to 2006-08

It comes as deaths involving powerful painkiller fentanyl in England and Wales have risen by almost a third.

There were 75 fatalities linked to the opioid last year, an increase of 29 per cent from 2016 when there were 58.

The ONS figures also show a rise in deaths involving cocaine for the sixth consecutive year.

The number rose from 371 in 2016 to 432 last year, but it is not possible to distinguish if the substance related to these deaths was powder cocaine or crack cocaine.

A total of 3,756 deaths involving legal and illegal drugs were registered in England and Wales in 2017.

This is the highest number since comparable records started in 1993, but similar to 2016 when there were 3,744 deaths related to drug poisoning.

ONS health analysis statistician Ellie Osborn said: "The figures published (on Monday) show that the level of drug poisoning deaths in 2017 remained stable.

‘However, despite deaths from most opiates declining or remaining steady, deaths from fentanyl continued to rise, as did cocaine deaths, which increased for the sixth consecutive year.’