Drug-related deaths in the Cotswolds in 2019 reached a seven-year peak, new figures show.

Office for National Statistics figures show five drug-related deaths in the Cotswolds in 2019 – the highest level since 2012, when there were five.

The deaths relate to poisoning from a variety of illegal and legal drugs, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines.

The figures count deaths from drug abuse but also include those from accidents, suicides, and health complications arising from drug use.

In the Cotswolds, four deaths last year were down to misuse, meaning they involved illegal drugs, or were as a result of drug abuse or dependence.

In the Cotswolds, there were 10 deaths between 2017 and 2019, at a rate of 4.0 per 100,000 people – up from 0.0 in 2016-18.

Across England, the average death rate for 2017-19 was 7.1.

A Government spokeswoman said: “Our approach on drugs remains clear – we must prevent drug use in our communities, support people through treatment and recovery, and tackle the supply of illegal drugs.

“Earlier this year we announced an independent review into drug treatment services, which have the potential to help thousands of people to recover every year, and findings will inform future action on substance misuse.”