ALMOST 250 people were admitted to hospital in one year Bradford after being poisoned by illicit drugs, a new report has revealed.

The number put Bradford ahead of all other local authorities in the Yorkshire and Humber region in 2013/14, according to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

Leeds was second behind Bradford in the table, with 217, while the total across Yorkshire and the Humber was 1,664.

Bradford's 236 is broken down into 137 men and 99 women.

The statistics are also laid out the number of admissions per 100,000 of the population. Bradford is third-highest with 45 admissions, behind Kingston-upon-Hull with 53 and Wakefield with 51.

Bradford Council's Public Health department said it was working to tackle the problem, while the head of a city drug treatment charity said the support was there for people who made the call for help.

A Council spokesman added: "We are aware of the issues in the district around drug misuse and the harm it causes. Bradford Council’s Public Health department is determined to provide access to the right services for those who need them.

"We are working hard to identify those at risk from drug abuse and to support them by offering harm reduction and treatment services.

"These services aim to keep people safe and assist them in moving into recovery from drug use, which will help avoid future admissions to hospital."

Jon Royle, of Bradford-based drug and alcohol treatment charity the Bridge Project, said drug misuse was a social problem that tended to be more prevalent in large cities like Bradford with areas of deprivation.

"These figures are a concern, but if you look at the tables you can almost map the stats of the bigger cities and areas of deprivation.

"If you live in an affluent area the chances of you using illegal drugs are much less.

"Drugs like heroin and crack cocaine do tend to follow the fault lines in society and are more prevalent in more deprived areas," he said.

"The good news is we are seeing a very significant downward trend in the number of young people using dangerous drugs like heroin and crack cocaine.

"What is an ongoing battle is the so-called legal highs. These are widely available on the internet, where a whole range of customers and sales people are in contact by the click of a mouse."

Also included in the figures are hospital admissions with an initial or secondary diagnosis of drug-related mental health and behavioural disorders.

There were 1,009 people in Bradford admitted to hospital for this reason, second behind Leeds on 1,198. The total for Yorkshire and the Humber was 8,715.

Bradford is fourth in the admissions per 100,000 population for this reason, with 192, behind Kingston-upon-Hull, Doncaster and Barnsley.

Mr Royle added: "Anyone concerned about their drug use, or another person's drug use, can contact something like the Bridge Project.

"In Bradford, people can access good quality support and treatment within a week of making that call."

The HSCIC also revealed that that Yorkshire and the Humber has the highest prevalence of opiate and/or crack use.