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Drug Death Rise Taking Its Toll On Scotland

Sober-Services Addiction, Addicts, Drug Addiction, Drug Treatment, Treatment Advisory Service, Treatment for Addiction

Scotland's latest statistics for drug related deaths have been released and seen yet another increase on the previous year. Scotland has recorded its highest number of drug death poisonings since records began in 1996. There current statistics for 2017 make them the country with the highest drug related mortality rate out of all the EU countries.

Let's take a closer look at the latest statistics for Scotland, published by The National Records of Scotland (NRS):


The annual report for drug related deaths in Scotland in 2017 (See references) documents the following key findings:

For the whole of Scotland:

  • A total of 934 drug related deaths/drug overdose deaths were recorded in 2017 for Scotland; this is 66 more deaths than in 2016 for the country.
  • 439 for methadone was 77 more than its previous peak of 362 in 2016;
  • 815 for any opiate or opioid was 49 more than its previous largest number (766 in 2016);
  • 552 for any benzodiazepine was 126 more than its previous highest figure, which was 426 in 2016;

The two statistics for benzodiazepine related deaths and opiate related deaths show that opiates and benzodiazepines, particularly Etizolam (a benzodiazepine type drug that is unlicensed in the UK) are being used simultaneously. When these two drugs are mixed they create a lethal concoction which can cause overdose. Etizolam alone, has had a huge impact and created a valium crisis.

  • NHS greater Glasgow and Clyde area recorded 280 drug related deaths in 2017, compared to 138 deaths in 2015. Over the past 5 years, drug related deaths have risen by a devastating 50% in this area.

Scotland's Most Vulnerable

Gender and age statistics for Scotland follow the trend of England and Wales in the UK; they show that males of middle age are at the highest risk of drug overdose and death. The following statistics and groups are considered to be the most vulnerable drug users in Scotland

  • 70 % of Scotland's drug related deaths in 2017 were male.
  • 40% of Scotland's drug related deaths in 2017 were within the age range 35-44.
  • 30% of Scotland's drug related deaths in 2017 were within the age range 45-54.

Scottish Annual Report Reveals Shocking Statistics

Statistics recorded for Scotland's drug related deaths over the years have consistently risen, hitting an all time high each year. This is not just affecting those that tragically died from drug abuse and drug addiction but also their families, loved ones, friends and the wider community.

The deaths recorded only give us a glimpse of a much larger scale drug problem, that is undoubtedly currently of critical proportions.

New Drug Treatment Strategy Planned For Scotland's Drug Users

Scottish Drugs Forum CEO, David Liddell, who is the CEO for the Scottish Drugs Forum, spoke in regards to the “sheer toll” on Scottish communities, he said:
The ‘sheer toll’ of drug-related deaths represented a ‘staggering weight carried by families and communities and the wider Scottish nation
Just over 10,000 people have now died since these figures were first issued in 1996. That is the equivalent of the entire population of a Scottish town like Fort William or Stranraer or Methill or Haddington. Last year was a record high – and so was the year before and the year before that.
We know how to prevent drug-related deaths – and yet we don’t do all that we could to prevent them.’ It was vital that people had access to ‘high quality healthcare and support
A new Scottish drugs strategy is due to be announced – imagine it was based on the notion that people had the right to life

Whatever the Scottish government are planning strategy wise to tackle the horrendous drug problem in Scotland, it will need to be drastic and very comprehensive in order to see the death rate fall.

Scotland, like England and Wales, have suffered substantial cuts to NHS funded drug and alcohol teams. These cuts have caused a sharp rise in the number of UK drug related deaths and also reduced engagement levels with services.

Private Alcohol and Drug Rehab Treatment Better Than Ever

Alcohol and drug rehab has come a very long way in the private treatment sector and is better than ever before. However, statistics suggest that the UK government still do not understand addiction properly. If they do not understand the disease of addiction, how can they ever possibly treat it with the correct addiction treatment options and methods?

If you or a family member are suffering from drug addiction or alcohol addiction, we offer a range of services that can set you or your loved one firmly on the road to recovery.

Addiction is treatable, no one need die of this awful disease if they are given the opportunity to access professional addiction treatment.

Please call the Sober Services team of addiction treatment experts to see how we can help you in your individual circumstances to access the best in private addiction treatment.

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