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Drug use levels drop in UK

The number of adults using illegal drugs has fallen to the lowest level since records began, a study has shown. 

Figures released by the Home Office show that around 2.7 million people admitted to taking an illegal drug during the last year. 

When the Crime Survey for England and Wales started in 1996 just over 11% admitted to taking an illegal drug. 

Reported use of class A drug-use has almost halved in young adults aged 16-24 since then. 

However, 6% of young adults had used nitrous oxide (laughing gas) in the last year. 

Both nitrous oxide and psychoactive drug salvia, which both feature in the survey for the first time, are legal substances.

Reported levels of cocaine-use are higher than 17 years ago. 

Home Office minister Jeremy Browne said the results overall were "really positive news".

A spokesman told the BBC that, while legal, laughing gas should "not be experimented with" and that "any suggestion of abuse, particularly by young people, is of concern".

The annual Crime Survey for England and Wales is based on interviews with 21,000 adults.