Fatal drug overdoses in the UK kill two and half times more people than road traffic accidents and there is no sign of it slowing down.
More than three and a half thousand people lost their lives to drug poisoning in 2015.
The Mortality Matters conference took place in Leeds to address the rising rates of drug-related deaths in the UK.
The conference was full of health and medical professionals as well as former and recovering addicts sharing their insights, and giving first hand experience of their problems and the help available to addicts today.
Many were asking the question that people who are arrested for drug-taking should they be incarcerated in prison, or should they be given help through medical intervention or from help from other services?
Dr Jan Melichar, a Consultant Psychiatrist said: “95 per cent of people in prison for two years are less are in for drug related offences, and 95 per cent of those people will be back in prison within two years again. Prison does not work.”
Tim Sampey who is CEO of Build on Belief, a charity that offers socially based services for those who have, or have alcohol and drug addiction issues. He is also a former heroine addict and said: “I have known so many people who have died that I can’t remember their names. It’s extremely important to talk about this issue.”