Over 4,561 fatal overdoses were reportedly registered in England and Wales in 2020, at a rate of 76.7 per million people, a 3.8% jump since 2019.
Almost half of all drug poisonings involved an opiate, while there was a 9.7% jump in deaths due to cocaine use.
According to experts, drug-related deaths have increased over a decade.
The rates of drug misuse deaths showed a divide between the north and south of England, with the northeast recording the sharpest rise.
“England and Wales in 2020 registered the highest number of fatal drug overdoses since records began in 1993, with cocaine and opiates blamed for the rising trend,” the Office for National Statistics said Tuesday.
“The overall trend is driven primarily by deaths involving opiates, but also by an increase in deaths involving other substances like cocaine.”
The official statistics body said it was “too early” to assess any effects of coronavirus lockdowns on the data due to long delays between a death occurring and it being registered.
London registered the lowest rates. Scotland, which has the highest drug death rate in Europe, last week announced that more than 1,300 people died of drug misuse in 2020 the seventh year in a row that the number has risen.