THE AMOUNT of drug related deaths in Eastleigh has doubled over the last six years according to new research.

This comes from detailed analysis of data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) by drug addiction treatment experts, UK Addiction Treatment (UKAT).

The data shows that across Hampshire, drug related deaths are up by 17%, with deaths in Eastleigh doubling from 11 to 22 over the last six years.

MP for Eastleigh, Paul Holmes responded to the data, claiming that a mixture of policing and support for addicts is what’s needed.

He said: “I’ve never had a relative with a drug problem, it’s not affected me personally, but it is a tragic thing.

“Every death means that the country and the health services haven’t intervened adequately.

“We do have a county line problem in Eastleigh, and the police are working really hard to disrupt those lines and make sure that we have stronger deterrents.

“Its a mixture of absolutely tackling and putting the people away whilst offering the hand of support for those who need it and are looking to come off of hard drugs.”

Nuno Albuquerque, Group Treatment Lead at UKAT is now urging local authorities to take action to solve the issue of drug related deaths.

He said: “The situation is only getting worse for those most vulnerable in society.

“We urge councils across the South East to invest in effective drug and alcohol services in their 2021 budget to avoid even more loss of life.”

In the South East, there has been a 12% rise in drug poisoning deaths over six years according to the ONS data.

Cabinet Lead for Health at Eastleigh Borough Council, Cllr Tonia Craig said: “The Health and Wellbeing of all our residents is of the utmost importance.

“The Council and our partner agencies will continue to warn local people of the dangers of taking drugs.

“Even during lockdown we are continuing to provide help and support with regards physical and mental issues to our residents both online and in the town centre.”