The number of heroin and crack addicts in England needing treatment fell by almost 10,000 over the last two years, new figures have revealed.
The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA) said the number of people addicted to the class-A drugs fell from 62,963 in 2008-09 to 52,933 last year. The numbers accessing treatment for all drugs also fell for the second year running.
The data also showed the number of drug users who have been treated successfully and are getting their lives back on track rose by almost a fifth last year. Paul Hayes, the NTA's chief executive, said the figures showed that "recovery is now becoming a reality for more individuals each year".
"The fact the next generation are getting the message that hard drugs wreak damage to individuals and communities is very positive," he said.