Drug deaths rose sharply in England and Wales to reach record numbers last year, official figures show.
There were 2,917 deaths from illicit drugs in 2018, the Office of National Statistics said, a rise of 17%.
Most deaths were due to opiates such as heroin, but cocaine deaths doubled in three years and MDMA deaths were also at their highest ever level.
A government adviser blamed cuts to treatment programmes offering substitute drugs to addicts.
A total of 4,359 people died due to drug poisoning last year, the ONS said – a figure which includes accidental overdoses and suicides from medicinal drugs, as well as illicit drug use.
It was also the biggest annual increase in drug deaths since records began in 1993, the statisticians said.
Deaths from drug misuse among