Scotland sees over 1,000 deaths due to drug misuse in 2022, lowest in 5 years

Scotland sees over 1,000 deaths due to drug misuse in 2022, lowest in 5 years

Rate of deaths from drug poisoning in Scotland was 2.7 times as high as UK average in 2021, show official figures

By Burak Bir

LONDON (AA) - A total of 1,051 people died in Scotland due to drug misuse last year, the lowest number since 2017, official data revealed on Tuesday.

The latest statistics published by the National Records of Scotland showed that the country saw 279 less death last year compared to 2021.

However, despite the decline, deaths related to drug misuse are still more common than they were two decades ago.

"After adjusting for age, there were 3.7 times as many drug misuse deaths in 2022 compared with 2000," according to official figures.

The Glasgow and Dundee cities had the highest rates of deaths from drug misuse over the last five years, while the East Renfrewshire and Aberdeenshire regions had the lowest rates.

Opiates and opioids, including heroin, morphine and methadone, were implicated in more than eight out of 10 drug-related deaths in 2022.

The majority of drug misuse deaths were classified as accidental poisonings, with 7% classed as intentional self-poisonings.

"The rate of drug poisoning deaths in Scotland was 2.7 times as high as the UK average in 2021, the most recent year that data is available for the UK as a whole."

Julie Ramsay, the head of Demographic Statistics at National Records of Scotland, said that males are twice as likely to die from drug misuse than females, although the fall in deaths in 2022 was much larger for males than for females.

"Those living in the most deprived areas of Scotland are almost 16 times as likely to die from drug misuse compared to people living in the least deprived areas," she said in a statement.

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