St Helens has been listed in the top ten worst boroughs in the UK for drugs-related admissions to hospital.
An NHS report into drug-related hospital admissions shows that there was 109 cases of “illicit drug poisoning” in St Helens last year.
The borough also performed poorly for drug-related mental health problems and behavioural disorders, also falling into the top ten for this category.
Figures show that the north west region had the highest rate of admissions for drug poisoning and also for drug-related mental health or behavioural disorders in 2015/16.
Seven of the boroughs with the highest rate of drug-related admissions, were located in the north west, including Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool and Knowsley.
Liverpool was the worst authority in the country for the rate of drug-related mental health or behavioural disorders which resulted in hospitalisation.
The national figures show an increase in admissions over the past ten years, with admissions due to drug related mental health increasing 11 per cent than a decade ago, and drug poisoning cases soaring 48 per cent since 2005.
Despite this increase, the number of people taking drugs is “significantly lower” than a decade ago.
The report says: “Around one in 12 (8.4 per cent) adults aged 16 to 59 in England and Wales had taken an illicit drug in the last year. This equates to around 2.7 million people.
“This level of drug use was similar to the 2014/15 survey (8.6 per cent), but is significantly lower than a decade ago (10.5 per cent in the 2005/06 survey).”