The use of ecstasy and LSD among young adults has spiked over the last two years, with survey results indicating the numbers taking the drugs in the past 12 months up 84% and 175% respectively.

An estimated 157,000 more people aged 16-24 took ecstasy over the past year compared to two years ago, according to figures released on Thursday. About 49,000 more used the hallucinogen LSD over the same period.

An estimated one in 20 young people have used ecstasy in the past 12 months, according to the latest data. Use of LSD is still much lower, with around 0.4% of young people – about one in 200 – using it.

Both drugs saw year-on-year increases in consumption by the young of around 40%.

The figures will be a serious blow to the government’s hardline strategy on drug use. In an effort to combat an increase in the numbers of new designer drugs a recent bill was introduced that would ban all new psychoactive substances.

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