New figures from the Office for National Statistics show that deaths from drug poisoning rose by 16% across England and Wales last year.
Although London has the lowest number of registered deaths in the country relating to drugs misuse, the ONS reports the capital was the only region to see a significant increase in 2018 compared to 2017.
Cllr Ray Puddifoot, London Councils’ Executive Member for Health & Care, said:
“These figures point to a very worrying trend.
“It’s crucial to ensure Londoners receive the information they need to look after their own health and that specialist support is available for those with drug dependency issues.
“Local public health services have a key role to play. Boroughs spend over £130 million each year on services for treating substance misuse, but there are clear concerns about the impact of reductions to London’s public health grant from central government. London has lost over £60 million in public health funding since 2015.
“Investment in public health is an essential part of addressing these rising rates of drug-related deaths.”