A total of 26 deaths from a drug overdose were sadly recorded in 2020, however this fell to 12 in 2021.
A range of measures have been introduced to help tackle the issue, including the formation of the new Wolverhampton Drug and Alcohol Strategic Partnership, which involves a range of agencies across the city working together, the enhanced promotion of Naloxone, which acts as emergency medication that can reverse the effects of opiate overdoses, the introduction of Long acting Opiate Substitution Therapy (OST) alongside standard OST as a protective treatment for people most at risk of drug related death, and investment in data reporting systems to enable frontline partners to provide support much sooner.
The number of residential rehabilitation places available in the city has also been increased, while a specialist criminal justice team are working in partnership to ensure people leaving prison with a treatment need are supported to actively engage in treatment.
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "There are a range of both legal and illegal substances that can cause people harm in one way or another.
“Some are physically addictive, some are psychologically addictive, but all are dangerous and can have a major impact on the physical and mental health of people using them, affecting their ability to be well and damaging their relationships with friends, family and the wider community.
"We know that being in treatment is the best way to prevent deaths from drug overdoses, and so we are working closely with other members of the Wolverhampton Drug and Alcohol Strategic Partnership to increase capacity of treatment and recovery services in the city and to ensure that more people who need treatment and support are able to get it, when they need it."
Recovery Near You runs the Wolverhampton Substance Misuse Service, a free, confidential service helping anyone concerned about their own drug use, or that of others. For details, please visit Recovery Near You or call 0300 200 2400.