By Damien Gayle

Heroin on prescription and supervised injecting rooms are among a range of measures that the government’s drug advisers have suggested to reverse the UK’s soaring numbers of drug deaths.

Responding to a sharp rise in the number of heroin-related deaths in recent years, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs said maintenance of drug treatment programmes was essential to prevent further increases.

Overdoses hit record levels in England and Wales last year, exceeding the number of deaths from road traffic accidents, according to official figures published in September, sparking criticism of the government’s approach to drugs and addiction services.

The ACMD’s recommendations come as the government plans deep cuts to local authority public health grants, the money which funds drug treatment services.

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Thumbnail: Flickr CC Partha S. Sahana