Cumbria

Barrow-in-Furness drug deaths drop

Used syringes
Image caption Last year, police described Barrow-in-Furness as "awash" with class A drugs

Deaths in a town described by police as "awash with class A drugs" have fallen.

Cumbria County Council figures show that 12 people died in Barrow-in-Furness between December 2017 and April 2018. In the year since then there have been eight drug deaths and 28 "near misses".

Barrow Drugs Death Group was set up in the wake of these.

It introduced measures such as service referrals and drugs that help reverse opioid overdoses.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service said a report by Lesley Graham, public health manager for Barrow, found the group's work had made a difference.

A number of initiatives had taken place, including sharing details of people who come to the attention of police in connection with drugs with relevant help groups.

"There is an acceptance that the speed of sharing this information has contributed to preventing further harm to these individuals," said Ms Graham's report.

Opiate users have also been issued with Naloxone pens, which can reverse the effects of powerful drugs such as heroin and morphine and are said to sometimes prevent death if used within a short period of an overdose.

The report said: "As a result of the work of this group, there has been a marked slow down [in drugs deaths] in the last few months."

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