THE NUMBER of people who died while accessing addiction treatment in Cumbria has risen, data shows.

Department of Health and Social Care figures show there were 109 deaths among adults undergoing drug addiction treatment in Cumbria between April 2019 and March 2022.

This was up from 76 who died during the three years prior, from April 2016 to March 2019.

In addition, the most recent estimates of opiate and crack cocaine use in local areas show there were thought to be 2,396 people using the drugs in Cumbria in 2016/17.

In response to this figures, Rachel Savchenko, North West regional director at Humankind said: "Sadly, these statistics show that geography and poverty remain major factors in driving deaths.

"If you live in the North West, North East or Yorkshire and Humber, you are tragically more likely to die as a result of drugs than people living in the south, and this needs to change.

"Recovery Steps Cumbria, our community drug and alcohol treatment and recovery service, began operating in October 2021.

"Since then, the service has supported 2,952 people across Cumbria and was recently rated ‘Good’ across the board by the Care Quality Commission.

"We remain active in working with partners in local government to reach those most at risk and reduce the harms they face.

"It is our hope that with concerted, collaborative work and consistent, ring-fenced investment into areas like Cumbria, the rate of people dying as a result of drugs, both in and out of treatment, will fall."

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