The Scottish government has pledged an extra £250m over the next Holyrood term to tackle the "national disgrace" of drug-related deaths.

22 Jan 2021

More than 1,200 people died of drug misuse in Scotland in 2019, a record number for the sixth year running.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon accepted that her government "should have done more sooner" to address the issue.

But she said £50m a year would be spent over the coming term to "end what is currently a national disgrace".

This will include £20m a year for residential rehabilitation services and "significant" funding for local alcohol and drugs partnerships and grassroots organisations.

The 2019 figure of 1,264 deaths was a 6% increase on 2018, and more than double the number of deaths in 2014.

It is the worst rate recorded in Europe, and about three and a half times the rate for England and Wales.


Public health minister Joe Fitzpatrick lost his job shortly after the figures were published, with Ms Sturgeon creating a new post of drugs minister for Angela Constance.

The first minister promised to embark on "a national mission to end what is currently a national disgrace".

'More leadership'

Scottish Conservative group leader Ruth Davidson said drug deaths were "Scotland's worst shame", adding that "more should have been done much earlier".

Read full original story here

Share this on: