Ayrshire’s grim drug death figures for last year revealed in new report

New figures show that drugs claimed the lives of 93 people in Ayrshire last year.

Police Scotland figures show that the majority of the tragedies took place between the months of January to March (27) and October to December (26).

You are reading: Ayrshire’s grim drug death figures for last year revealed in new report

Figures for April to June (20) and July to September (20) show a total of 40 drug deaths in that reporting period.

When you compare last year’s figures for Ayrshire to the region’s 2021 figures, they show a 14.67 per cent decrease in the number of deaths.

The 2021 figures show that 109 people lost their lives.

However, while acknowledging that every drug death is “a tragedy”- and there is a decrease in the Ayrshire figures- more work still “needs to be done” to reduce the figures even further, says an MSP.

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South Scotland Labour List MSP Colin Smyth said: “Every single drug death is a tragedy and we should never forget that behind each of these figures is a person whose life has been cut far too short and a family who have lost a loved one.

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“The figures for Ayrshire have shown a small change compared to the previous year and remain higher than the level they were in 2017, which highlights that work still needs to be done.

South Scotland Labour List MSP Colin Smyth
South Scotland Labour List MSP Colin Smyth (Image: Dumfries And Galloway Standard)

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“Cuts in funding for rehab a few years ago are still taking a heavy toll, and just with any disease, we urgently need to see more investment to treat what is ultimately a health crisis.

“Unless we tackle the underlying causes of this disease such as poverty, poor housing, and the shocking education attainment gap, then we will fail to get to grips on the crisis.”

Drugs Policy Minister Angela Constance said: “Firstly, I want to extend my deepest sympathy to all those affected by the loss of a loved one through drugs.

Drugs Policy Minister Angela Constance
Drugs Policy Minister Angela Constance (Image: Daily Record)

“The numbers we are seeing are still far too high and we remain focused on our ongoing efforts to get more people into the form of treatment which works best for them.

“To that end, I have held a series of meetings with experts in the field at the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna hearing about evidence-led approaches to tackling the issue from around the world and considering what more we can do here in Scotland.

“I remain determined that the additional £250 million we are investing in tackling this public health emergency will make a difference and we continue to prioritise our efforts to turn this crisis around.”

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