Figures from the National Records of Scotland illustrated that 1,051 people died of drug misuse in 2022. This is the first significant drop following years of record high totals.
Although the rate has dropped Scotland still continues to be the worst affected in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe.
Julie Ramsay who is head of demographic statistics at National Records of Scotland stated that drug deaths have been rising over the last two decades with the largest rise being in 2018. The highest number of drug misuse on record was in 2020 where there were 1,339 deaths.
Although drug deaths are at its lowest in five years there is still a lot to do in order to bring the figure down further. The Government aims to provide one thousand residential rehabilitation beds a year from 2016 and notes that they want to spend more than £100m on improving access to these beds.
In addition to this, The Scottish Conservatives are working alongside advocacy groups and are developing the Right to Recovery Bill to be introduced at Holyrood later this year. This bill will allow a person to be given the right to treatment which they prefer from rehab to medical assisted treatment.
The leader of the Scottish Torries stated that “one of the biggest issues facing those with addiction problems is accessing treatment”. This is crucial as bringing a Bill like this would allow access to those struggling with addiction to seek help.