The commission set up to tackle Dundee’s escalating drug death toll will not publish its findings on time, it has announced.
Robert Peat, chairman of the Dundee Drugs Commission, has blamed “the late submission of some evidence” for the decision to push back the publication of its first report to August.
Since its launch, the commission has set a date of between late May and early June 2019 for publishing its initial conclusions.
However, Dr Peat says the most recent submissions, while arriving after deadline, deserve to be considered by the commission.
He said: “The evidence-gathering stage of the commission allowed us to look in depth at the local situation and also consider the approaches of other areas to these problems.
“We spoke to or heard from more than a thousand people including people from Dundee who have taken drugs and used local services as it is vital that their voices are heard and reflected.
“The commission had originally aimed to release its report this month. But given the amount of evidence that we have gathered and the late submission of some evidence, we are obliged to ensure our deliberations are extremely thorough and produce the best report possible.
“We have therefore agreed with the Dundee Partnership that we will conclude our work over the next few weeks and launch the report in the middle of August.”
Thanking the commission for their “hard work”, Dundee Partnership chairman Councillor John Alexander added: “I expect that their findings will help us to determine the way forward for the city for all the partners involved.”
The commission was launched in March last year as a response to Dundee’s spiralling drugs death rates – the highest number of deaths per population in Europe as of 2017.
A report on the latest figures is set to be published later this month by the Tayside Drug Death Review Group.
Last week, Tele analysis of NHS Scotland figures found hospital admissions for overdoses in Dundee have risen by 35% in the space of a year, largely driven by the use of so-called “fake Valium”.