The number of people who have died through drug misuse has risen in Sunderland.
Figures released by the Office of National Statistics reveal 49 people died in the city due to drug poisoning between 2012 and 2014.
We work directly with our clients to engage them in the recovery process.Coun John Kelly
This was a rise of nine compared to the previous two years.
Figures also revealed the North East had the highest mortality rate from drug misuse for the second year running.
There was also a rise in fatalities involving cocaine last year, while the number of deaths linked to antidepressants was at its highest level for 15 years.
Nationally, there were 517 deaths involving antidepressants in 2014, the highest number since 1999.
Deaths involving cocaine also increased to 247 from 169 the previous year - a rise of 50%, with research suggesting an increase in purity has been a factor in the trend.
Sunderland City Council portfolio holder for public health, wellness and culture, Coun John Kelly, said: “Drug misuse is a national issue, and death rates have increased over recent years at national level. We fund and commission substance misuse services and work closely with a range of organisations to address this at local level.
“An established programme of interventions, education and support is in place to help those people at risk, to prevent avoidable deaths through drug misuse of any kind.
“We are committed to an approach which supports those who use drugs to recover from dependence, and reduces the harm to people who misuse drugs, their families and communities. We work directly with our clients to engage them in the recovery process.”