Drug-related deaths reach highest level on record
The number of drug-related deaths in Scotland has risen to its highest level since records began.27 Aug 2015
The National Records of Scotland report revealed 613 people died as a result of drugs in 2014. A director of a Church of Scotland social care group said the rise was "related" to government cuts. The Scottish government said drug deaths continued to particularly affect an "ageing" group of users with a history of drug use.
The figure of 613 deaths represents a 16% increase since 2013, and is the first time in three years the number has gone up.
Paul Wheelhouse MSP, community safety and legal affairs minister, said the figures highlighted some progress in tackling problem drug use.
He added: "Scotland still faces a huge challenge in tackling the damaging effects of long-term drug use among an ageing cohort of individuals in Scotland.
"This group of individuals often have long-term, chronic health problems as a result of sustained and, in many cases, increasingly chaotic drug-use issues. We are undertaking work to better understand the needs of particular sub-groups."
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