Scotland’s drug deaths rise to new record

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More than 1,200 people in Scotland died of drug misuse last year, new figures show.

The much-delayed figures show a record number of deaths for the sixth year in a row and the highest total since records began in 1996.

The figure of 1,264 is a 6% increase on 2018 and more than double the number of deaths in 2014.

It is the worst rate recorded in Europe and about three and a half times the rate for England and Wales.

The Scottish government argues that it needs more control over the law to trial initiatives such as safer injecting facilities; the UK government argues the opposite, and that instead there needs to be more investment in rehab beds.

Scotland’s Drug Death Task Force is trying to turn the tide. They have encouraged same-day prescribing and the expansion medical assisted treatment, along with programmes to distributed the life-saving drug Naloxone.