Drug deaths in Northampton rise by nearly 50 per cent in just five years

Drug-related deaths have risen drastically in Northampton over the last five years.
Drug-related deaths have risen drastically in Northampton over the last five years.

Drug deaths in Northampton have risen by 45 per cent in just five years, new figures have revealed, prompting fears substance abuse services are not getting the funding they require.

The Office for National Statistics has revealed the number of people losing their life through drug poisoning has reached the highest levels since records began in 1993 across England and Wales.

A national addiction support firm believes the rise is down to budget cuts to treatment services.

A national addiction support firm believes the rise is down to budget cuts to treatment services.

And a drastic rise has also been reported in Northampton.

Between 2012 and 2014, 37 people died as a result of drug poisoning. However, in the past two years that number has leapt to 54.

Addiction support firm UKAT blames drastic cuts to drug and alcohol treatment services across the East Midlands for the rise in deaths.

Managing director Eytan Alexander, said: “Today’s ONS figures are saddening but unsurprising. We’ve highlighted the drastic reduction in budget cuts to substance misuse services every year since 2013 and unfortunately, these figures now show the impact this is having on the most vulnerable people living across the East Midlands.

“It cannot be a coincidence that as councils here slash drug and alcohol treatment budgets by £3 million over 6 years, the highest number of people on record lose their lives to drugs. We urge councils across the East Midlands to invest in effective drug and alcohol services next year to avoid more loss of life.”

UKAT sent a Freedom of Information Request to all the councils in the East Midlands to ask how much was being spent on drug and alcohol treatment services.

The data showed that that, of the councils in East Midlands which replied to their FOI, £29.2 million was being spent helping those struggling with addiction back in 2013. This number has dropped to £26.5 million this financial year, almost a 10 per cent drop in funds.

UKAT believes that if all councils across the East Midlands responsible for the allocation of Public Health Grants had responded to their Freedom of Information Request, the budget cuts figure would be even worse.