Figures have revealed that one in nine adults in the South West has confessed to taking drugs, making it one of the worst places in the country for illegal substances.
New figures show that 11.1 per cent of people admitted taking drugs in the region in 2017/2018, much higher than the national average of nine per cent.
Home Office statistics suggest usage rose from 9.5 per cent of adults in the South West in the preceding year.
Projecting the survey across the population of the whole region, it means as many as 337,000 adults aged from 16 to 59 took illicit drugs at some point last year.
The most common drug in our region is cannabis, with 9.4 per cent of people admitting to taking it in the last year – up from 7.1 per cent in 2016/17.
But the use of cocaine has increased from 2.2 per cent of adults saying they had taken it in 2016/17, compared to 3.2 per cent of people in 2017/18.
Similarly, the proportion of people admitting to taking MDMA has also increased, from 1.6 per cent of all adults to 2.6 per cent.
The use of hallucinogens has seen an even sharper increase, although the drug remains less popular than cannabis, cocaine and MDMA.
Some one per cent of adults in the South West admitted to taking hallucinogens in 2017/18 – far more than the 0.4 per cent who admitted to it the previous year.
At the same time, the proportion of people taking amphetamines has also increased.
Percentage of adults in the South West using illegal drugs
Drug: 2016/17 2017/18
Any drug: 9.5 // 11.1
Any Class A drug: 3.2 // 4.7
Powder cocaine: 2.2 // 3.2
Ecstasy: 1.6 // 2.6
Hallucinogens: 0.4 // 1.0
Amphetamines: 0.4 // 0.8
Cannabis: 7.1 // 9.4
Some 0.8 per cent of adults admitted to taking them in the last year, which is double the 0.4 per cent in 2016/17.