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One in fifty are drug addicts
One in 50 people in Brighton and Hove use heroin or crack cocaine.
The shocking figures, released this week by the National Treatment Agency, show on average 100 more addicts are being treated in the city every year.
These new statistics suggest one in 25 young people are using either heroin or crack cocaine.
In the 25 to 34-year-old age group, an estimated 1,761 use the drugs.
The total number of people taking heroin or crack, from school children to pensioners, is 3,380.
The number of heroin users is estimated as 2,800, which is 500 more than figures compiled in 2001.
Researchers who worked on the report looked at data from a variety of sources including drug treatment centres, police and the probation service to estimate the number of users between 2004-05.
Brighton and Hove City councillor Francis Tonks, of Moulsecoomb and Bevendean ward, said: "These figures are really worrying.
"We must start young and educate youngsters about the dangers of drugs but we do inherit problems from elsewhere."
In the past 20 months, Brighton and Hove Police have been working on Operation Reduction, an initiative which aims to catch dealers but also get treatment to addicts.
Along with the town's Crime Reduction Partnership and Drug and Alcohol Action Team they try and get addicts into treatment.
More than 300 dealers have been taken off the city streets since the initiative was launched.
Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent Kevin Moore, of Brighton and Hove Police, said: "We have won some battles but not the war.
"There is less visible open-street dealing than there was three years ago. We are good at keeping a lid on that but we haven't stopped it. We have made some significant seizures of crack cocaine. What's more worrying is the number of heroin users in the city."
Every year millions of pounds is pumped into drug treatment and prevention but drug deaths, the number of addicts and the levels of drug offences are all on the rise.
The pooled drug-treatment budget from the Department of Health and the Home Office is more than £2.5 million per year.
They have allocated a further £370,238 for young people's substance misuse partnership, which is spent on drug prevention.
Since 2004, drug crime in some city wards has rocketed.
In Brunswick and Adelaide between 2004-05 and 2005-06, drug crimes increased from 49 to 87.
Drugs offences in Central Hove over the same period rose from 19 to 37 and in East Brighton they increased from 12 to 37.
Brunswick and Adelaide Councillor Paul Elgood said: "I have had residents report drug dealing, drug litter and waste, and sightings of deals taking place within the ward especially on the seafront and in the open spaces. We have reported it to the police and other agencies who have responded very well but they need to be much more pro-active."
Last week The Argus revealed Brighton and Hove was to be the third place to be involved in a controversial trial, which would see heroin addicts being prescribed the drug in an attempt to reduce crime, improve health and get them off heroin.
Chris Hughes, substance misuse services manager at the Sussex NHS Partnership, said: "The numbers may be more than before but the good thing is we have a high rate in terms of people in treatment."