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There has been a 27% rise in people dying while in treatment for drug and alcohol addiction during the pandemic, an official report shows.

Changes to support and reduced access to healthcare during lockdowns are likely to have been factors, it says.

Between April 2020 and March 2021, 3,726 people died while in contact with drug and alcohol services – up from 2,929 the year before.

A treatment provider said care for addicts could not be put on hold.

The figures, published by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, for England, show a small 2%

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