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'Illegal drug use on the rise among middle-aged Brits'

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Drug abuse is said to be on the rise among middle-aged Britons. (file photo)

Official figures in Britain point to a rise in the number of middle-aged Britons using illegal drugs over the past 18 years.

The latest data by the Home Office reveals that the percentage of people between 40 and 59, who have used drugs in the period, has increased from 2.5 points in 1996 to 3.6.

Figures, however, show that drug abuse among the youth has fallen ever since, with 17.4% saying they took drugs in 1996, compared to 13% in 2014-15.

Experts believe the figures suggested that many who were on drugs in the 1960s and 70s had continued to do so and that they had become an integral part of their lifestyle, according to the Telegraph.

The latest report also said more than half a million Britons aged between 40 and 59 took drugs in the past year, with almost 400,000 smoking cannabis and 92,000 using cocaine.

Nearly half the middle-aged cannabis users were taking the drug more than once a month, it added.

The Home Office reportedly estimates that 1.5 million ecstasy tablets were being taken every weekend in 1995.

A British Crime Survey published in 2011 shows one in three adults in England and Wales have used illicit drugs in their lifetime.

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