NEW research shows drug deaths in the West Midlands have risen sharply while funding for treatment has been cut.

Analysis of Office for National Statistics (ONS) data by addiction treatment experts UKAT shows that the West Midlands has seen a 12 percent rise in drug poisoning deaths in the last five years, when at the same time, UKAT’s data reveals a £23 million cut to drug and alcohol treatment budgets in the same time period.

The ONS report reveals that between 2016-18, drug poisoning deaths across West Midlands reached a record high of 1,027, up from 961between 2015-17 and up from just 916 in 2013-15.

The percentage of men dying from drugs has risen by 11 percent since 2013 (from 637 to 712), and by 13 percent for women (from 279 to 315).

Drug deaths across areas within Staffordshire have risen from 129 in 2013-15 to 144 in 2016-18, a 12 percent rise.

Across Warwickshire, deaths have risen by 25 Percent; from 78 to 98.

And for areas across the West Midlands, drug deaths have risen from 208 to 252, a 22 percent rise in five years and for Worcestershire, from 78 to 95; a 22 percent five year rise.

Eytan Alexander, Managing Director of UKAT ( ), said: “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 West Midlands."

"We must remember that these aren't just numbers; they're people, they're someone's mother, father, child or friend and we can't stress enough the value of investing in addiction treatment."

UKAT’s Freedom of Information request revealed that of the councils which responded across the West Midlands, budgets for drug and alcohol treatment services have been cut by £23 million since 2013.

The data provided by addiction treatment firm UKAT ( shows that of the West Midlands councils that responded, £69 million was being spent on helping those struggling with addiction in the region back in 2013.

This amount has dropped to £45 million this financial year, a 34 percent reduction.