DEATHS from drug misuse have risen sharply among women.

New figures released by the Office of National Statistics show deaths from drug misuse in Brighton and Hove increased by 58 per cent in 2015-17 compared with 2014-16.

One victim last year was Kayleigh Jukes.

The 24-year-old was found dead of an overdose in a flat in Shanklin Road, Brighton, notorious for being used as a place to take Class A drugs.

She had been injecting heroin and had overdosed.

There were 74 drug misuse deaths in the city in 2015-2017. Of these, 30 were women.

In 2014-2016, there were 56 drug misuse deaths of which 19 were women.

For the fifth year in a row, the number of drug-related deaths reported in England and Wales have risen to record levels.

The rise in deaths has been blamed, in part, on the increased popularity of more lethal drugs such as Fentanyl and growing use of more drugs like cocaine.

Despite Brighton recording its highest number of drug misuse deaths in years, the city has shaken off its reputation as a drug death capital.

And on the South Coast, the city has been overtaken by Hastings which now has a higher death rate than Brighton.

The town recorded 30 deaths from drug misuse between 2015-17, eight of which were women.

Elsewhere across East Sussex, Eastbourne recorded 20 deaths within the same period, Lewes recorded nine, and Worthing 28.

Among those most at risk of drug abuse are rough sleepers.

Andy Winter, chief executive of Brighton Housing Trust, said: “Alcohol and drug use is rife among rough sleepers.

“We need greater investment in and provision of abstinence-based rehabilitation services, not in services that allow individuals to remain in active addiction.”

Britain now has more drug deaths per head than in any other European country.

Figures released last week revealed the worst towns for drugs deaths in the country. Blackpool came out top, Neath Port Talbot second, and Hastings was eighth place.