General Article Scotland has worst drugs problem in Europe as death rate soars

Topic Selected: Drugs Book Volume: 373

More than 1,000 deaths involved methadone, heroin and morphine, but a large percentage of those who died - 792 - had also taken pills such as diazepam.

By Auslan Cramb

Scotland’s drugs death rate is now higher than the USA and every other country in Europe, and three times the UK average, according to shocking new figures.

The statistics released on Tuesday revealed that 1,187 people died following drug use last year, an increase of 27 per cent on 2017.

Methadone, the heroin substitute prescribed by the NHS to help heroin users, caused more deaths than the drug it is meant to replace and contributed to nearly half the total mortality figure.

The National Records of Scotland said the country now had a higher mortality rate than any other country in Europe.

In the US, the latest figures suggest a drug death rate of 217 per million people, compared to a figure in Scotland of 218 per million.

The Scottish total is at the highest level since current records began in 1996 and is more than...

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