Shock figures which show people living in the city’s most deprived areas are three times more likely to die before they’re 25 need to act as a wake up call, experts say.
Leading voices on addiction and substance abuse from across Dundee have hit out at the stats and insisted things must change.
Dave Barrie, of Addaction, said that it was time to break the deadlock and the vicious cycle faced by people throughout Dundee which sees poverty and deprivation lead to substance and alcohol misuse.
The new research has just been concluded by Aberlour Child Care Trust and shows that people from Scotland’s most deprived communities are three times more likely to die before they reach their 25th birthday.
There are 13 areas in Dundee that are classed as among the most deprived 20% in Scotland.
The communities mentioned include Charleston, Menzieshill, Lochee, Fairmuir, Ardler, St Mary’s, Fintry, Kirkton, Caird Park, Whitfield, Linlathen, Mid Craigie and Douglas east and west.
Mr Barrie said: “This doesn’t really come as news to those of us who live and work in Dundee.
“The link between poverty and deprivation and substance and alcohol misuse is very well documented.
“It is also well documented that misuse of these substances can and often does lead to early death. All too often we have seen this for ourselves in the city.”
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However, Mr Barrie believes rather than dwelling on the depressing statistics, we should be focusing on using them to lead to a brighter future for Dundonians.
He said he would like to see education and volunteering opportunities, working alongside housing and healthy living projects to help with that vision.
Mr Barrie explained: “Yes we have areas of high poverty in the city. We clearly have drug and alcohol misuse issues but we are also now becoming a city that figures on a global scale.
“It is time to end the stigma and focus on improving the future.
“Dundee is changing. With the Waterfront becoming a global centre we need to be making sure that every family in Dundee is included in the change.”
Chelsea Cameron, who hit national and international headlines after documenting her childhood growing up in Menzieshill with drug addict parents, has called on more to be done to improve the plight of so many across Dundee.
She said: “These revelations of people dying at such a young age is not at all surprising to someone who has grown up in these areas of Dundee surrounded by addiction.
“I cannot help think there is so much more to be done by members of our society, professionals and corporate parents to look out for the wellbeing of those affected by the devastating consequences of what seems like a postcode lottery.
“It is so sad to see the devastating effects of addiction on young people a similar age to me in areas that I grew up in.
“Growing up surrounded by addiction in these areas I have seen so many people in the past few years die.
“It’s happening so much in our city.”