The number of people seeking help for mental health issues linked to drug and alcohol use is at its highest level on record.
Official figures released by NHS Scotland show Taysiders attended at mental health services 1,140 times between April last year and this March to get help with issues related to drug or alcohol use.
Alongside this, the number of people who approach services for help has also risen from 490 to 750 in the same time period.
The figure has risen steadily every year since a record low of 620 cases was recorded six years ago, and is at its highest level since records began in 1997.
Alex Cole-Hamilton, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesman, said the figures showed the “enormous challenge” across substance misuse and mental health in the region.
On average, people who access mental health services for reasons related to substance use are doing so more often than in the past. And there is an undeniable link to poverty – with those living in the most deprived parts of Tayside almost three times as likely to seek help compared with those in the least deprived areas.
The figures are the first to be released following the Dundee Drugs Commission’s first report, which took issue with how mental health among those with addiction issues was addressed in the city.
The commission found that there was a perceived “refusal of mental health services to work with individuals unless they deal with their drug use first”.
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David Lynch, Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership chief officer, insisted work would be done to implement changes suggested by the Dundee Drug Commission.
He added: “A meeting will take place next month between members of the commission and the Dundee Partnership to discuss the report’s recommendations and our next steps.
“All members of the Dundee Partnership are committed to make the changes which will improve the wellbeing of Dundee communities.”
Sharon Brand, of the support group Recovery Dundee, says she is aware of people receiving only “superficial” help while being treated for addiction. She said: “If the drug service can’t get its part right the mental health teams can’t possibly do the best job they can.”