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Cost of Illegal Drug Abuse - £15b

Official figures have revealed that abuse of drugs such as heroin and crack impacts the economic health of England and Wales to the tune of £15 billion a year. //

These costs were delineated as cost of frauds, thefts, bills of the victims, police, court and NHS costs. The European drugs agency figures have shown that illegal drugs are easier on the pocket, cheaper by half of the original cost of the drugs. For instance it was found that brown heroin was cheaper by 47% and ecstasy (45%).

EMCDDA chairman Marcel Reimen said: "We cannot fail to be concerned that across Europe drugs are becoming cheaper in real terms. If this means that those who have a tendency to consume drugs will use them more, then the ultimate cost of drug-taking in terms of healthcare and damage to our communities is likely to be considerable."

The Home Office has estimated the number of problem drug users in England at 327,000.

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