THE number of young people using drugs has shot up by 50 per cent since lockdown ended.
Figures show that a third of those aged 16 to 25, about 2.6million, admitted taking an illegal drug in the past year.
That was up from 22 per cent in 2021.
Class A drug use was up from 11 to 17 per cent and the number taking drugs once a week rose from 16 to 23 per cent.
And those addicted to drugs nearly trebled from five to 14 per cent.
Charity The Mix polled 2,000 young people.
Deputy chief executive Zoe Bailie said: “The spike we have seen is extremely worrying and also preventable.”
Figures show drug- related deaths in England and Wales hit a record high of 4,859 last year.
It was the ninth consecutive annual rise, according to the Office for National Statistics.