Dundee has recorded the highest number of annual drugs deaths on record – with 66 people dying of substance abuse in the last year.
The majority of the deaths were due to accidental overdose, and almost all were linked to the use of heroin, methadone, and other opioids.
The total is higher than even local experts had predicted, with 58 deaths recorded by the Tayside Drug Death Review Group last month.
In all, just shy of 1,200 deaths were recorded in Scotland.
Twenty years ago, just 263 deaths were recorded across the whole country according to record keepers at the National Records of Scotland.
Dundee City West MSP and public health minister Joe FitzPatrick said: “The number of people who have lost their lives because of drug use is shocking.
— Scot Gov Health (@scotgovhealth) July 16, 2019
“It is vital this tragedy is treated as a public health issue, and we are prepared to take innovative and bold measures in order to save the lives of those most at risk.”
So, how did the rest of Scotland fare?
More than 1,100 people died from drugs in Scotland last year, new figures indicate, the worst level since records began.
There were 1,187 drug-related deaths registered in 2018 – above 1,000 for the first time and up 253 (27%) on the previous year.
The National Records of Scotland statistics indicate Scotland’s drug death rate is nearly triple the UK rate.
The drug death rate in Scotland is higher than that reported for any other EU country.
The health board area with the highest proportion of drug deaths in 2018 was Greater Glasgow and Clyde at 394 (33%).