The number of people of heroin and crack users needing treatment in England has fallen by 10,000 in two years, figures showed today.

The National Treatment Agency for Substance Abuse said the number of adults that began treatment for the class A drugs fell from 62,963 in 2008/09 to 52,933 in 2010/11, with the steepest decline in the under-30s age group.

The numbers accessing treatments for all drugs also feel for the second year running.

Some 27,969 users were classed as recovering in 2010/11, a rise of 18% on the previous financial year and 150% higher than 11,208 in 2005/06..

Paul Hayes, the NTA's chief executive, said the figures, showed that "recovery is now becoming a reality for more individuals each year".

"More drug users are recovering from addiction, fewer need treatment, and more are getting over their addiction quickly.

"The fact that the next generation are getting the message that hard drugs wreak damage to individuals and communities is very positive, for them and the rest of society," he said.

The figures showed that, of the 255,556 people who entered a drugs treatment programme since April 2005 for the first time, 28% (71,887) had successfully completed the course and did not need further treatment.