It is a drug that killed more than 8,300 people in 2012, and has taken the lives of at least 5,000 English and Welsh citizens every year for the last decade. It is the culprit behind between one and two out of every hundred deaths. Despite a small drop in fatalities compared with 2011, the death toll is still around one and a half times greater than it was just two decades ago. Its abuse can lead to conditions ranging from strokes to heart disease. It is a potentially lethal substance that kills 2.5 million globally, and damages the health of far, far more. And as well as the human toll, it costs the British economy £21bn a year in crime and healthcare.