Almost half of all men in the U.K. do illegal drugs.
The devastating extent of use across the country has been laid bare by experts.
Their shock study claims that about 11million people aged 15-64 in England have done drugs.
Researchers found more than 6.5m adult men in England have taken some kind of illegal substance.
The worst offenders are in the south east with 46% of all men taking their drug of choice.
And soaring numbers of women are also turning to cocaine, cannabis and heroin, says the Association of Public Health Observatories.
Almost 5m use drugs, which is just under a third of all working-age women, with those living in the south west most likely to get hooked.
Professor Mark Bellis, co-author of the report, said: “People living in our poorest areas are around 17 times more likely to be admitted to hospital with a drug-related diagnosis than those living in the wealthiest neighbourhoods.
“Drugs not only damage the health of users but also contribute to violence and crime, destroy families and can deny children the stable upbringing they require to avoid becoming drug abusers themselves.”
Experts said one in four youngsters living in the north west, Yorkshire and The Humber smoked dope.Lifetime cocaine use is “substantially” up, with 47,000 crack users in London alone and similar numbers in the north west.
Yorkshire, London and the West Midlands are also above average for drug use.
The report is to be used by the nation’s Chief Medical Officer Liam Donaldson to help tackle opiate use.
He hopes to target areas where people are most at risk of becoming addicts.
He added: “Drug misuse has a profound impact on health and wellbeing, affecting not only users, but their families.”
Cocaine is now seen as more socially acceptable as celebs such as Amy Winehouse, 25, have been exposed as users.
In 2006 the percentage of males and females under 25 who admitted using cocaine was 7.3% and 6.7% respectively. Three years earlier the number of male users in the same age bracket was double that of females.
By Tom Hutchinson