People are warned about the dangers of occasional cocaine use, as drug-related deaths have reached a record high in Yorkshire.

In Yorkshire, a total of 484 people died as a result of drugs last year, the highest number since records began, according to new figures.

This represents a 16% increase over 2017, when 409 drug-related deaths occurred, according to the National Statistics Office (ONS).

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Throughout England and Wales, there were 4,359 deaths from drug poisoning in 2018 – the highest number since records began in 1993, the ONS said.

More than half of the deaths related to opiates (2,208 deaths), while the number of deaths from new psychoactive substances or legal limits doubled to 125 within one year.

And the deaths with cocaine have doubled in the three years to 2018 and reached their highest level ever.

In the past year, cocaine-related deaths were twice as common in people in their thirties and forties as they were in their twenties, as opposed to the stereotype.

Charities warned people not to seek help for cocaine, which is considered a middle-class drug.

Lee Wilson, director of the drug counseling and support organization Forward Leeds, said: "For many heroin users, the devices are clean and new and they dispose of them safely, and at the other end of the scale, club drugs can be used in fairly unhygienic environments.

"Dirty notes or keys are used to snuff cocaine from the backs of the toilet, but they look at heroin users who are actually receiving treatment, listening for advice, and using clean appliances.

He added that by using cocaine in a particular setting, such as a dinner party or club, people could be put in a false sense of security, but the dangers of mixing cocaine with alcohol or consuming drugs in their body are common not consider it is not used.

Ben Humberstone, Deputy Director of Health Analyzes and Life Events at ONS said: "This used to be associated with an increase in deaths from opiates such as heroin and morphine, but last year there was an increase in deaths in a wider variety of substances such as cocaine and so-called "legal highs".

"We create these numbers to inform decision-makers working to protect dying people from drug-poisoning."

The ONS figures cover deaths from controlled and uncontrolled drugs, prescription and over-the-counter medications.

This includes accidents and suicides with drugs as well as complications such as deep vein thrombosis or septicemia due to intravenous drug use.

Almost half of the deaths recorded last year have occurred in recent years. According to statisticians, it may take some time to complete an investigation, and many of the deaths that occurred in 2018 will be missing in these numbers.

About two thirds of substance abuse deaths (2,917) – a trend observed over the last decade.

The rate in Leeds was particularly high after 2015: on average, 9.4 out of 100,000 people died as a result of drugs. This is believed to be partly due to the use of fentanyl-contaminated heroin, which in 2017 is typically 100 times more effective than typical street heroin.

Sue Gill, chair of York and North Yorkshire Cruse, a bereavement charity, said that not only cities and towns were hit by drug-related deaths.

"We are a very rural area, obviously for North Yorkshire, because we go east towards the coast and north. There are also drug problems in the countryside. "

She said drugs are "everywhere", although people often associate drug use with urban poverty. She added that referrals to the charity, which does not receive public funding in North Yorkshire, have increased significantly over the past four or five years.

"Unfortunately, legal authorities are unable to keep up with referrals to support mental health problems."

A busier and more demanding lifestyle was a factor that led people to use drugs to deal with stress and depression.

"This will mean more deaths from drug-related incidents, as people are taking more and more drugs due to mental health problems."

The drug agency UKAT blamed drastic cuts in the drug and alcohol treatment services in Yorkshire and Humber for the rise in deaths.

EATAN Alexander, Managing Director of UKAT, described the numbers as "sad but not surprising".

"We have highlighted the drastic reduction in budget cuts for drug abuse services each year since 2013. Unfortunately, these figures now show the impact this has on the most vulnerable across Yorkshire."

"It can not be a coincidence that the councils cut their drug and alcohol treatment budgets by £ 8m over a six-year period, and the highest number of registered people lose their lives through drugs. We urge the City Councils in Yorkshire and Humber to invest in effective drug and alcohol services next year to prevent further deaths. "

Most deaths were due to inadvertent poisoning and then deliberate self-poisoning – almost a third of women's drug-related deaths were intentional.

Amy Green, Operations Manager for Yorkshire at Cruse Bereavement Care, said, "When a loved one dies by suicide, the grieving process can be more complex and difficult to solve. The deceased's family and friends may feel overwhelmed and traumatized by the nature of death, and have many questions as to why the person has taken an overdose to end their lives. "

The Ministry of Health was asked for a comment.