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Scots drug and drink-linked deaths at record level

Category: Scotland

Published: 17th Aug 2012 10:40:51

Drug and drink-related deaths in Scotland have reached record levels, according to government figures.

There were 584 recorded deaths in 2011 - up 99 on the previous year and a 76% increase on 2001.

Heroin and morphine played a part in about a third of cases, while heroin substitute methadone was implicated in almost half of them.

Justice minister Roseanna Cunningham said the government was committed to helping serious addicts recover.

According to the figures:

There have been increases in deaths six of the past 10 years.

A total of 36% of deaths were in 35 to 44-year-olds, with people aged 24-34 involved in 32% of cases.

Men accounted for 73%, but the increase in the number of drug-related deaths was greater for women - at 117%.

Ms Cunningham, Scotland's minister for community safety, said £28.6m was being invested in drug treatment over 2012-13, while naloxone kits, which help counteract the effects of opiate drug overdoses were being handed out across Scotland.

She said: "Every one of these deaths is a tragedy and I extend my sympathies to the family members, friends and everyone connected.

"Today's publication once again underlines Scotland has a legacy of drug misuse that stretches back decades, creating this upward ten year trend in drug-related deaths. Many of those lost to us are older drug users who after years have become increasingly unwell.

"No government has done more to address the legacy and while it will take time to tackle this tragedy, we will do that through continuing to invest and support the recovery of those affected by drugs in Scotland."

A total of 33% of deaths happened in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS Board area, with the proportion at 13% in Lothian.

The overall figure accounted for 1% of all recorded deaths.

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BBC News, 2012. Scots drug and drink-linked deaths at record level [Online] (Updated 17th Aug 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1446761/Scots-drug-and-drink-linked-deaths-at-record-level [Accessed 21st Aug 2014]

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