As purity of heroin and cocaine rises, drug deaths reach record levels

Drug poisoning deaths have reached record levels as the purity of cocaine and heroin rises and ageing addicts succumb to years of abuse, The Telegraph informs. 

A total of 3,674 people died of drugs in 2015, the highest number since records began.

Drug poisoning deaths have reached record levels as the purity of cocaine and heroin rises and ageing addicts succumb to years of abuse.

A total of 3,674 people died of drugs in 2015, the highest number since records began.

Deaths from heroin and morphine have doubled to 1,200 since 2012, while deaths from cocaine have jumped from 112 to 320, according to new figures released by the ONS.

Vanessa Fearn, an ONS research, 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.

Cocaine and heroin are often taken together, meaning increases in heroin purity could be leading to some of the deaths logged as due to cocaine.

Meanwhile ecstasy, or MDMA, was mentioned on 57 death certificates last year - the highest number in a decade. Statisticians said the reasons behind the rise are unclear.

Deaths linked to new psychoactive substances - formerly known as "legal highs" - have increased sharply, with 114 registered last year. New laws were introduced to clamp down on the substances earlier this year.

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