The number of people killed by drugs in the North East has fallen over the past year, according to the latest statistics.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal 93 people were killed in the region from drug-related deaths in 2012.
This shows a decrease of 9.7% from 2011, when 103 people were killed.
Last night Ronnie Campbell, MP for Blyth Valley, praised the work carried out in schools to help children understand about issues around drugs.
He said: “Personally I think the reduction can be put down to the education we are giving kids at schools, which is very good.
“Kids are more aware of what is going on with drugs. There are still problems, of course, but we are slowly winning the argument of what drugs can really do.
“I think 93 is still high and the figure is higher than it should be. We still haven’t won the battle yet.”
The figures, compiled by the Office for National Statistics, show figures for all drug-related deaths, including both prescription drugs and illegal drugs. They also include figures for whether the drugs were taken intentionally or unintentionally.
Since 1993 the number of drugs deaths in the region has risen from 29.
Elsewhere in the country, 131 people were killed in Wales last year, while the North West saw 285 drugs deaths, a fall of 7.8%.
Nationally, 579 cases were linked to heroin and morphine, 468 cases associated with anti-depressants and 414 with methadone.
Some 2597 cases involved ‘mental and behavioural disorders due to drug use’, while 101 involved ‘accidental poisoning by drugs’.