A record number of drug-related deaths were recorded last year in Scotland, an area of 5.5 million people often characterized as the worst student in Europe, according to official statistics released today.
According to the National Statistics Office of Scotland, which was postponed due to the pandemic, Scotland recorded 1,264 deaths related to the use of drugs in 2019, an increase of 6% over the previous year.
This death rate is 3.5 times higher than the total United Kingdom, of which Scotland is a part. The problem has been described by the Scottish authorities as a public health emergency.
Despite this new record, the increase is smaller compared to the year 2018, when it was 27%.
Considering any such deaths “a tragedy”, Scottish Health Minister Joe Fitzpatrick acknowledged that it was the result of a “series of long-standing and complex challenges”.
“There is no shortcut that will allow it to be resolved [αυτό το πρόβλημα] suddenly. “However, there are measures we can take now that will have a more immediate effect,” he added.
Among them is an investment of at least εκα 95 million (approximately € 104 million) this year in the fight against alcohol and drugs, as well as the distribution of naloxone, a drug used in cases of opiate overdose.
The heroin crisis in Scotland entered the international scene in 1996 with the film “TrainspottingBy Danny Boyle, set in Edinburgh. More than twenty years later, overdose deaths hit the “Trainspotting generation” who began taking heroin in the 1980s and 1990s.
According to the latest data from the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction, Scotland has the highest rate of drug-related deaths per capita in Europe, followed by Sweden.
Of the deaths recorded in 2019, 69% were men and 68% were aged 35-54, mainly in Glasgow, the most populous city in Scotland, and its environs (404 deaths).
In 94% of cases, death was caused by more than one substance (heroin, morphine, methadone, benzodiazepines, opioids, etc.).