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Drug deaths in Scotland hit record high


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Almost two thirds of the deaths were of people aged between 35 and 54, with the average age increasing from 32 to 43 over the past two decades.

Long term users whose bodies have finally given up then?

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3 minutes ago, Ross. said:

Long term users whose bodies have finally given up then?

Seems like it. Maybe means that the numbers will fall away as that generation dies off, but it's hard to see what the Government can do in the meantime. No idea what the figures are like for heroin use amongst the young now compared to that generation, hopefully it's lower.

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7 minutes ago, Frank Sobotka said:

We should probably do something as a country to stop loads of people dying from drugs.

Just imo of course.

Repeatedly voting for the party that doesn't seem able to do it doesn't seem the best strategy.

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Is there any reason in particular why this seems to be such a comparatively bad problem in Scotland against the rest of the UK? We're all dealing with the same laws. 

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1 minute ago, Michael W said:

Is there any reason in particular why this seems to be such a comparatively bad problem in Scotland against the rest of the UK? We're all dealing with the same laws. 

Doesn’t Scotland just have more of a heroin culture? 

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The government have been advocating for years for safe consumption rooms, but constantly say their hands are tied due to Westminster. Whats stopping them just doing it anyway? 

Probably because the UK gov could and likely would take it to court to challenge it as being out with the parliaments competencies. See the UN rights of a child bill.

Unfortunately too many in politics and the media are stuck in the mindset of a war on drugs to really take it the other way and actually legalise it to try and take it out of the hands of criminals, they’d still much rather punish those addicted as an easier target.
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45 minutes ago, RiffRaff said:

I din't know too much about this but I would think that decrimianlising drugs would be a step in the right direction.

If the qualitty of the drugs "prescribed" was controlled then that will reduce the risk for those that wish to take them. Have "Safe Rooms" where the taking of drugs can be monitored and any health issues can be addressed more efficiently.

By decriminalising the drugs you also take away the reason for many people starting in the first place.

However I doubt any Government would go down this road due to the outrage that would be unleashed via the right wing media.

As I said I don't know too much about this subject but surely it is time for common sense to prevail.

This is pretty much the view I have also come to in recent times. I would add to this that with legalising it, you can regulate it. Make sure that what is being sold is safe and not laced with God knows what. That and you put some pretty nasty folks out of business.

How would this all be paid for? Easy. By legalising it you can tax it. 

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9 minutes ago, Donathan said:

Doesn’t Scotland just have more of a heroin culture? 

Its not just heroin but that remains a big part of it - a lot of the deaths are from people taking lots of things together. From the report today 89% of the deaths have heroin/methadone involved, 73% involved benzos (diazepam/etizolam), more than a third also had cocaine involved.

Street benzos seems to be a huge part of the problem now - was identified in 58 deaths in 2015 and now up to 879 for last year!

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32 minutes ago, sparky88 said:

Repeatedly voting for the party that doesn't seem able to do it doesn't seem the best strategy.

Which party should people vote for to solve Scotland's drug problem ?

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Honestly not sure what would make a difference to stop these deaths rising year on year. The figures are so closely tied to deprivation i struggle to see any easy way to fix things short of legalising lots of drugs and getting injecting rooms setup which isn't going to happen for political reasons. Their used to be a lack of genuine rehab beds and i'd guess that is still the case as they are expensive to run, but just having more beds seems unlikely to make a real impact when the numbers get so high.

I thought the Naloxone programme would make a difference when they rolled it out a few years ago, but it doesn't seem to have changed much at all.

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Regarding drug consumption rooms - would these have a big impact when people are dying taking street valium/benzos?  I understand that if you are an injecting drug user then you inject several times a day and you are at risk of overdosing then, so a consumption room means if you do OD then you've got help, you are injecting in a safer environment, clean needles etc.  But are street valium/beznos used in the same way?  I read somewhere that you guy loads of htem and pop them through the day, a safe consumption room isn't going to help with that?

There was a report, I think in the BBC one from earlier, from a rehab facility in Scotland where a third of the patients are Dutch, who have been sent there by their health insurance.  Surely something could be worked out about funding people to go into effective rehab programmes but then again, you clean someone up and send them back to the same environment what's the point?

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36 minutes ago, Michael W said:

Is there any reason in particular why this seems to be such a comparatively bad problem in Scotland against the rest of the UK? We're all dealing with the same laws. 

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people in the most deprived parts of the country were 18 times more likely to have a drug-related death as those in the least deprived.

Do we have a list of the most deprived areas in the UK? I'm sure in the past it was heavily skewed towards the North of England and Scotland. That would probably account for a big part of it.

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5 minutes ago, ICTChris said:

Regarding drug consumption rooms - would these have a big impact when people are dying taking street valium/benzos?  I understand that if you are an injecting drug user then you inject several times a day and you are at risk of overdosing then, so a consumption room means if you do OD then you've got help, you are injecting in a safer environment, clean needles etc.  But are street valium/beznos used in the same way?  I read somewhere that you guy loads of htem and pop them through the day, a safe consumption room isn't going to help with that

Not sure how many of the deaths only have benzos implicated, but would guess relatively few with the majority of deaths happening when people take their heroin/methadone. Injecting rooms would catch people at the riskiest time but obviously that doesn't mean deaths won't still happen at any random time as well so still lots of risk for folk taking stuff regularly

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2 minutes ago, SamuraiJock said:

Not sure how many of the deaths only have benzos implicated, but would guess relatively few with the majority of deaths happening when people take their heroin/methadone. Injecting rooms would catch people at the riskiest time but obviously that doesn't mean deaths won't still happen at any random time as well so still lots of risk for folk taking stuff regularly

Yeah, I think 90% or more of the deaths have more than one drug involved, which obviously makes it very difficult.  

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8 minutes ago, Ross. said:

Do we have a list of the most deprived areas in the UK? I'm sure in the past it was heavily skewed towards the North of England and Scotland. That would probably account for a big part of it.

The 2019 reports showed that after Scotland the rate of drug deaths was highest in the North East of England and in Northern Ireland. We were roughly 3 times worse than either of them though. 

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1 minute ago, SamuraiJock said:

The 2019 reports showed that after Scotland the rate of drug deaths was highest in the North East of England and in Northern Ireland. We were roughly 3 times worse than either of them though. 

Give it a few years and they will overtake us. All our junkies are dying now. We'll have peaked too early and they'll take home the gold medal.

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1 hour ago, sparky88 said:

Repeatedly voting for the party that doesn't seem able to do it doesn't seem the best strategy.

Any political party that tells you they'd fix the drug deaths problem quickly is talking out their hole

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'Wee nippy 👏'

'Standard SNP!!!'

Just a few of the usual comments from Tories on Twitter.

Yes, Nicola Sturgeon can stop people becoming junkies m8.

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