STAFF at Furness General Hospital’s A&E department are treating on average three patients suffering from drink and drug-induced overdoses every day, new figures show.

The statistics, which The Mail has obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed in 2018 accident and emergency doctors admitted 327 people intoxicated with alcohol.

In the same year a total of 531 patients were treated for drug overdoses.

The figures only include patients with a primary diagnosis which has been recorded as drug or drink-related and include overdoses as well as cases of poisoning.

Inspector Jim Bailey from Barrow Police has been at the forefront of a multi-agency taskforce to tackle the town’s drugs problem.

“Over the last 14 months we have been working closely with healthcare professionals, the council and organisations such as Unity and The Well,” Inspector Bailey said.

“Like lots of towns we face issues relating to drugs. It’’s not a secret that Barrow suffers as a result of the county lines issue.At the end of the day we will always go where the greatest danger and risks are and alcohol and drugs are a significant a real issue in Barrow.”

Among the work done by the multi-agency taskforce is the opening of a welfare hub at Barrow Island’s Egerton Court where a number of drug-related deaths in the last two years has led to Barrow featuring in the national press.

Inspector Bailey urged members of the community, and drug-users, to feel confident in reporting any issues to the authorities.

“There are a lot of people at the top, from the likes of Liverpool, Manchester and London, who are making a lot of money from exploiting the issues in Barrow and those are the people we are targeting,” he said.

“We all need to work together to make sure our communities are places where these drug dealers will avoid because of the close-knit community we have in Barrow."

The Mail contacted the trust which runs the hospital and county council health bosses but received no reply by the time we went to press.