Increase in drug related deaths for older Scots

The proportion of drug-related deaths in Scotland among people aged 45 and above increased from 14 per cent in 2011 to 26 per cent in 2012, according to the latest figures from ISD Scotland.

Drug related deaths in Scotland

The report provides further analysis of statistics released last year detailing the country’s second-highest number of drug deaths (DDN, September 2013, page 5). Two thirds of the 581 drug-related deaths were in the 25-44 age group, with nearly 60 per cent in the country’s most deprived areas. Deaths in those aged under 25, however, fell from 12 per cent to 8 per cent. As in previous years, more than three quarters of those who died were male, while more than a third were parents.

‘It is encouraging that fewer young people are dying from drugs which is in keeping with wider statistics on drug use in Scotland,’ said community safety minister Roseanna Cunningham. ‘However, this report also confirms that, in Scotland, we are dealing with an ageing cohort of people with a long legacy of drug use and we must continue to work together to ensure that this vulnerable group, who have been using drugs for many years and who experience other chronic medical conditions, receive the appropriate care and support.’

The national drug related deaths database (Scotland) report: analysis of deaths occurring in 2012 at

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