Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Record number of drug-related deaths expected in Tayside after 44 in six months

Monica Lennon MSP
Monica Lennon MSP

The number of deaths caused by drugs in Tayside last year is on track to reach triple figures.

Police recorded 44 confirmed fatalities in the first six months of 2019. Another 13 suspected drugs deaths are still under investigation.

If cases continue at the same rate the total number of drug-related fatalities in 2019 could top 100 for the first time.

There were 78 drug-related deaths in Tayside in 2018.

The figures, released by Police Scotland in response to a Freedom of Information request, show there were 44 confirmed drug-related deaths in D Division, which covers Dundee, Angus and Perth and Kinross.

Only Q Division – Lanark, which takes in towns such as Hamilton and Motherwell – had a greater number of drug-related deaths between January 1 and the end of June. There were 49 confirmed plus another 23 still under investigation.

G Division – Greater Glasgow – recorded 42 confirmed deaths. There were 35 in Fife.

The figures were released on Monday as police began investigating what is believed to be another drugs-related death in the Lochee area of Dundee.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Emergency services were called to a property in St Mary’s Street in Dundee around 2.25pm on Monday December 30 following the sudden death of a 51-year-old man.

“The death is being treated as unexplained but there are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances.”

Public health minister and Dundee West MSP Joe FitzPatrick created a Drugs Death Taskforce last year following 66 drug-related deaths in the city in 2018.

The Dundee Drugs Commission also published the findings of a year-long review in August 2019. It took evidence from more than 1,000 sources, including medical professionals, recovery workers, scientists and drug users, before making 16 recommendations for change.

The Dundee Partnership, which brings together public bodies such as the city council and NHS Tayside, has said it is transforming drug treatment services in a bid to stop more lives being lost to drugs.

Overdose survivors are being offered immediate help to get clean in a bid to cut the number of drug-related deaths in Dundee.

They also want to introduce same-day prescribing, which would see drug users who seek help put on the methadone programme straight away.

Scottish Labour’s health spokeswoman Monica Lennon has called for the Scottish Government to make tackling drug deaths a greater priority in 2020.

Ms Lennon said: “The Dundee Drugs Commission presented its recommendations months ago but little has changed.

“As a result, families across Dundee continue to experience heartbreaking loss and will have to live with the devastation that substance abuse leaves behind. Our communities need intensive support.”

Maryfield SNP councillor Ken Lynn, the vice-chairman of Dundee’s health and social care partnership, has called for the decriminalisation of drugs to reduce fatalities.

Meanwhile the Scottish Government called for “outdated” regulations to be scrapped to allow a range of “public-health focused responses” to Scotland’s drugs crisis.

A spokeswoman said: “The 2019-20 Programme for Government announced a further investment of £20 million over two years to support local services and provide targeted support.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]