Transplant surgeons in Britain are being forced to use body parts from drug addicts due to a growing shortage of organs, according to a report by the BBC.

In the last five years, an estimated 450 organs came from donors with a history of drug abuse — and in some cases the donor had died from a drug overdose.

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The lack of viable organs is due in part to the fact that fewer healthy people are dying in car accidents, when organs can often be retrieved intact, the BBC reported.

The government is currently examining a proposal that everyone should be put on the organ donor register, unless they specifically "opt-out".

There are more than 8,000 people in Britain on the waiting list for an organ — but only 3,000 transplants are carried out each year.