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Drug deaths: record number in Scotland prompts calls for urgent UK policy reform

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: (Published 16 July 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l4731
  1. Bryan Christie
  1. Edinburgh

Radical change to official UK policies on drug use is being demanded as new figures show that Scotland has the highest number of drug related deaths in Europe and possibly the world.

A report from the National Records of Scotland states that last year saw a total of 1187 drug related deaths, the highest rate ever recorded and more than double the 574 deaths in 2008.1 For the first time more Scots died from drug related causes than from alcohol.

The number means that Scotland had 218 drug related deaths per million population, eclipsing the next …

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