The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh has launched a new report on drug-related deaths in Scotland, based on the views of leading experts.

2 Mar 2021

The report recognises that Scotland’s drug deaths crisis is complex, but says much more can be done to tackle the problem, including action on harm reduction and on the social determinants of drug abuse.

The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (“the College”) believes that bold policies, such as decriminalisation of the possession of drugs, safe drug consumption facilities, and rolling out a heroin assisted treatment programme in all major centres in Scotland should be considered to help reduce drug-related harms.

Hat Middlesbrough

Image: Heroin Assisted Treatment Facility in Middlesbrough, UK.

Urgent research is required to examine the links between poverty and drug-related deaths, including the impact of COVID-19 on drug use. There is also an urgent requirement to study and understand complex poly-drug use (or “multi-drug use”), as National Records of Scotland data for 2019 show that the number of drug-related deaths of people who took more than one substance was 94%.

And the College is calling for more joined up care for people who use drugs, as well as support for those who have completed rehab or who have left hospital after being admitted for drug overdose.

Read the full story here.

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