New figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats indicate that between 2002 and 2007, some 20,378 children aged under 10 received treatment for drug poisoning.
In the 11 to 15-year-old group, that figure rose to 39,536, and in 16 to 18-year-olds the number was 38,725.
"These are horrifying statistics. The toll of damage from drugs is immense and the cost to the NHS is enormous," said Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat health spokesman. "Ministers must ensure that local services like hospitals, schools, councils and the police working together to ensure the lives of children are not destroyed by drugs."
However a spokesman for the Department of Health said that the figures were wrong as legal and illegal drugs had been grouped together. "The government takes the issue of drug misuse very seriously," he added.