The official figures have shown the number of drug-related deaths in England and Wales rose to record levels last year.
This has been making plenty of recent headlines, but the news did not come as a surprise to Crystal Health Group.
The Office for National Statistics reported that 3,756 drug poisoning deaths involving legal and illegal substances were registered in 2017.
The number of fatalities involving cocaine and fentanyl increased to the highest total since records began in 1993.
The ONS said the mortality rate from drug misuse was the highest ever recorded, at 66.1 deaths per million population.
Factors which are believed to be behind the figures include the increasing purity of substances, and the older age profile of drug users, who often have other health conditions which make them vulnerable.
Here at Crystal Health Group, our own workplace drug testing data confirms the trend of rising numbers of middle-aged cocaine users.
We believe drug-related deaths will continue to increase for some years to come, given the fact that drugs are becoming more socially accepted, even though they remain illegal.
For some people, cocaine and cannabis use have become as big a part of the fabric of a night out as alcohol.
Certainly, we are seeing this reflected in the results of the workplace drug tests that we conduct across all areas of the UK and across many sectors of commerce and industry.
For advice and support on all drug testing matters, please call 0800 988 7107 to speak to a Clinical Advisor.