We are now witnessing the consequences as this group of older users are developing problems which result in admission to hospital as a result of their drug use.”

The statistics follow warnings that the baby boomer generation is fast becoming the highest risk age group, with men and women in their 60s and 70s suffering the consequences of decades of drink and drug excess.

Several studies have suggested that today’s young people are “the most sensible” generation in recent memory and “far more conservative” than their parents.