Drug Deaths: How they want us to think of ourselves

The Tusker is often criticised for ‘whitabootery‘ as it relentlessly notes the many occasions when the statistics suggest we’re doing a bit better, on Covid infection and death levels, on NHS satisfaction, on falling crime, on IVF treatment, on A&E performance and so on and on.

Angry responses tell us it doesn’t matter if we’re ‘only’ doing better than other countries and our MSM implicitly support that view by rarely if ever making positive comparisons but, when Scotland may be doing worse, oh boy, will we hear about it.

They’ve tried on Covid infection and death rates but their dodgy stats have been rebutted. They tried on care home deaths, even ignoring 5 research studies finding no link with hospital discharges. They haven’t given up on that one. They tried, deliberately or stupidly misrepresenting the percentage of all deaths which took place in care homes, until Stirling University research made clear the mortality rate in English care homes was significantly higher. Marr even managed to twist that one.

However, nothing beats drug deaths. Last year when the figures came out, Reporting Scotland could not put the story down and opposition politicians lined up to accuse the SNP of ‘betraying’ drug users, conveniently ignoring the role of Westminster in denying Scotland the powers to tackle the problem, with safe injection rooms.

Today, even before the figures come out, BBC Scotland is drooling at the prospect, headlining the anticipated news. Watch if you can bear it. This will be big, for them.

You can also expect, that like last year, there will be no context. Last year we offered some:

NHS SCOTLAND BEATS DRUG TREATMENT TARGET AGAIN

From NHS Scotland: Between April and June 2020, 95.3% of the 7,195 people who started their first drug or alcohol treatment waited 3 weeks or less, an increase from the same quarter in the previous year (93.4%), which may be in part attributable to a fall in the number of completed waits during the quarter … Continue reading NHS Scotland beats drug treatment target again→

UK GOVERNMENT FAILS SCOTLAND’S DRUG VICTIMS

In the above report, more than a year ago, Annie Wells said: The SNP has had control over health and justice for 12 years, yet hasn’t managed to bring in anything that comes close to dealing with this problem. As these figures show, whatever drugs strategies it has adopted have only made things worse. What … Continue reading UK Government fails Scotland’s drug victims→

ANOTHER SCOTTISH ATTEMPT TO REDUCE DRUG DEATHS GOES UNMENTIONED

Story Feeder: Brain McGowan: Not on Reporting Scotland Down but here on The Tusker, from NHSGGC: Following the success of Glasgow’s only Injection Equipment Provision (IEP) van, funding has been granted for an additional mobile unit to help tackle the city’s drug crisis by providing crucial healthcare and harm reduction services. The van, funded by … Continue reading Another Scottish attempt to reduce drug deaths goes unmentioned→

SCOTLAND’S DRUG AND ALCOHOL TREATMENT WAITING TIME TARGET SMASHED!

From NHS Scotland yesterday: 94.7% of the 9,267 people who started their first drug or alcohol treatment during the latest quarter waited 3 weeks or less, with little change in recent years. https://beta.isdscotland.org/find-publications-and-data/lifestyle-and-behaviours/substance-use/national-drug-and-alcohol-treatment-waiting-times/ They’re too modest. They’ve been beating the 90% target for years now.

SCOTTISH TORIES’ INACTION AND DISREGARD FOR THE LIVES OF DRUG ADDICTS IS FROM THE SAME SOCIOPATHIC MINDSET AS JOHNSON’S WAS ON THE CORONAVIRUS THREAT

All across the Scottish media this morning we see headlines like this in the Glasgow Times: ‘83% of drug injectors in Glasgow would use city safe room‘ I can’t seem to find the actual GCU report. Do they just send it to the corporate and state media and not post it openly for ‘hobbyists’ like … Continue reading Scottish Tories’ inaction and disregard for the lives of drug addicts is from the same sociopathic mindset as Johnson’s was on the coronavirus threat→

NHS SCOTLAND SMASHES DRUG AND ALCOHOL TREATMENT WAITING TIME TARGETS

From NHS Scotland today: The Scottish Government set a standard that 90% of people referred for help with their drug or alcohol problem will wait no longer than three weeks for treatment that supports their recovery. 95% of the 9,171 people who started their first drug or alcohol treatment during the quarter waited 3 weeks … Continue reading NHS Scotland smashes drug and alcohol treatment waiting time targets→

WHY I WILL REPORT THE DIFFERING CORONAVIRUS DEATH RATES IN THE UK AND SCOTLAND JUST THE SAME WAY DRUG DEATHS WERE

Rarely for someone active in social media, I get little criticism, next to no abuse, but in the last few days, I’ve been getting comments suggesting that on this issue, I’ve lowered my standards in some way. Yesterday, I posted this: As the UK death rate climbed to 55 from 35 only yesterday, the MSM … Continue reading Why I will report the differing coronavirus death rates in the UK and Scotland just the same way drug deaths were→

DUNDEE TACKLES ITS DRUG PROBLEMS BUT BBC SCOTLAND PREFER DEATHS

This, on the Scottish Drugs Taskforce, ignored by BBC Scotland, was forwarded to us by indyref2soon ‘Kindness, Compassion and Hope’ is the title of the Dundee Commission report that laid bare the failings of treatment and care and monitoring of these services which led to the tragedy of escalating drug deaths in Dundee. After an … Continue reading Dundee tackles its drug problems but BBC Scotland prefer deaths→

VISONARY SCOTS DRUG WORKER ON BBC BUT NOT BBC SCOTLAND

Ludo Thierry Beeb website (main news page) is carrying the story about the courageous and visionary Scots drug worker Peter Krykant. This major story is FINALLY appearing on the beeb Scotland site (thanks only to The Victoria Derbyshire programme team). Incompetence? Editorial decision? – Anyway you care to look at it beeb Scotland doesn’t come … Continue reading Visonary Scots drug worker on BBC but not BBC Scotland→

And there’s more:

  1. Drug deaths are counted differently in Scotland and England:

The statistics come from a source which compares these with English data which are not gathered in the same way. See this telling example on page 47:

‘It follows that some deaths could (in theory) be counted differently in, say, Scotland and England. For example, a death from intentional self-poisoning by an uncontrolled substance would be counted in Scotland (but not in England) if a controlled substance was present in the body but was not believed to have contributed to the death (because the presence of the controlled substance would not be recorded in the data for England).’

And contributing to this problem, deaths are more likely to be recorded as suicide in Scotland:

Unlike Scotland, in England and Wales, whether a death due to injury is classified as intentional or accidental depends on information provided by coroners. Narrative verdicts from coroners often do not provide information on whether the injuries were due to intentional self-harm, were accidental or were of undetermined intent. In these circumstances, coding rules mean that classification of the death defaults to ‘accidental’, and therefore suicides may be underestimated in England and Wales (and therefore also the UK).’ 

https://www.scotpho.org.uk/health-wellbeing-and-disease/suicide/data/uk/

2. Tory economic policies in the 1980s are to blame:

Scotland’s drug death crisis is based disproportionally upon older drug users who began using heroin in the 1980s and 90s under the Tory and New Labour neoliberal economic policies which lauded greedy individualism, and which destroyed communities through a failure to create employment and a misguided war on drugs. Researchers have shown this to be a predictable and widespread phenomenon:

Drug Overdose Rates Are Highest in Places With the Most Economic and Family Distresshttps://scholars.unh.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1339&context=carsey

During the 1980s and ’90s there was a significant increase in problem drug users in Scotland, which peaked about 20 years ago. There is now an ageing population of drug addicts, mainly men, who have been using heroin for decades. Biologically they are ageing much faster than their real age and they develop multiple morbidity, particularly around respiratory diseases, liver diseases and blood-borne viruses and this adds a further vulnerability with regards to overdose deaths. Last year, more than two-thirds of drug-related deaths were aged between 35 and 54.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-48853004

3. SNP Government drug treatment beats 90% waiting time target with 95% score

From the Information Services Division (ISD) for drug and alcohol treatment services between July and September 2019:

The Scottish Government set a standard that 90% of people referred for help with their drug or alcohol problem will wait no longer than three weeks for treatment that supports their recovery.

For the 5,335 people seeking drug treatment, 95.0% waited three weeks or less.

18 thoughts on “Drug Deaths: How they want us to think of ourselves

  1. This is being driven by a few crime families. Everyone knows who the players are, yet nothing seems to be done to lock them up.
    In GCHQ the UK has one of the foremost agencies in the world for monitoring international communications, phone calls, digital messaging.
    If England was suffering a drug death toll commensurate to Scotland, GCHQ would be harnessed to take out the people involved.
    Scotland needs to insist on action by the security agencies on behalf on our people, who contribute to the funding of the security services.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s allowed to happen. There are people organising this, and it’s not the little people. Scotland is being flooded with drugs, it’s historic, it’s deliberate. Boats loaded with drugs can land anywhere around Scotland’s vast coast, it is not policed, maritime policing is a reserved power to the English Government in London.

      To have a situation where Scotland cannot even set up safe rooms because the English government say ‘NO’, is just abhorrent, it’s utterly immoral and unethical. SNP need to shout more about this at WM, and not shut up until they can get those powers devolved, no strings attached either!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dont want to be a conspiracy nut, but there were rumours in Glasgow in the ’70s about the security services dumping huge quantities of dope in the city. To deflect from the oil revenues.

        Like

  2. There is a need for more proper total abstinence rehabs. It should be under NHS care not social care. Council do not provide proper rehab care funding. Doctors should be able to refer patients to proper care, under the NHS. It is much more cost affective.

    It was privately and publicly funded. People could get better for a few £thousand. They are put on methadone for years, instead of getting proper total abstinence care and counselling. There are not enough proper total abstinence rehab facilities. Drug rooms are not the answer. MUP has cut deaths and reduced alcoholic consumption.

    Like

  3. Different methods of recording.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Bbc gov,tories,labour and wee wullie winky
    ALL COVER THE FACT THE ENGLISH PARLIAMENT
    ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR DRUG LAWS AND ACTIONS
    THEY STOPPED GLASGOW DRUG ROOMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    SO BLAME WESTMINSTER NOT SCOTTISH GOV

    MAYBE ENGLISH PARLIAMENT ARE ‘ENCOURAGING’
    DRUG USE IN SCOTLAND

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s certainly very convenient Robert. They have allowed drugs into Scotland for a very long time, to flood the schemes, to keep people from being able to do something about their lives, so much being denied to them under the BritNats’ rule, it’s bloody tragic. No opportunities, terrible housing, young people, especially young men easily led into the addiction world. Keep the people down, it’s no accident especially since the oil came on tap, that is no doubt when the drugs came on tap as well. The Islands had (have?) a serious heroine problem, Edinburgh, drugs are taken in via Leith, a losing battle for the police. Maritime policing is a reserved wpoer to the EngGov.
      As has been pointed out, GCHQ could easily find those responsible and put a stop to it tomorrow but the will is not there, quite the opposite in fact. They must know who the big players are in all this.

      Like

  5. Being headlined on Sky News.

    Scottish drug deaths worst on record. Higher than any other EU nation. 3.5 times the U.K. figure. Repeated. Lots of context here when it’s bad news.

    “Record high”. “Steep upward curve (6%?).” “Grim Story”. They don’t hold back.

    Lack of funding blamed. Scottish Government has “thrown money at the problem, but it’s been “misplaced”.

    No mention of U.K. Government stopping Scottish Government action. No mention of English County Line Gangs currently driving the problem.
    No mention it is predominately older long term users.

    Switched off.

    Excellent post BTW.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It used to be GERS now it’s Drug Deaths.

    Great portfolio of articles on this John!

    Gary Robertson interviewed someone at 9.50 obviously trying to improve things for drug users. This lady strongly called for safe consumption rooms. It was implied that our Lord Advocate has the powers to sanction such facilities. This last point was repeated by one of Kayes “experts”.
    Kaye repeated the toll several times and Scotland being the drug death capital of Europe several times.

    As was pointed out to me. . . . In a few weeks Scotland won’t have this crown of thistles round it’s heid, thanks to the wonders of Brexit.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Probably controversial but I have long advocated the legalisation of all drugs. Have licensed premises, subject to regulations similar to alcohol/tobacco conditions. People are never going to stop taking drugs, so make it legal, subject to safeguards. I witnessed the change in Glasgow when in 1976 the Scottish licensing laws were relaxed. The illegal “shebeens” disappeared almost overnight.
    This move would almost wipe out the crooks who are making a fortune from peoples misery, and the tax revenue for an Independent Scotland would be a bonus, especially the S.N.H.S

    Like

    1. People will ‘stop taking drugs’ certainly to a large extent, making them available is not the answer. The ScotGov (SNP) have had just 12 years to try to repair decades upon decades of British rule and the terrible consequence being massive damage to Scotland on so many levels, health, social care, infrastructure, housing, job creation, environmental, just for starters.
      The answer is for Scotland to have powers to set up safe rooms, proven to reduce drugs deaths, for the EngGov to take serious action on stopping English drugs gangs (they won’t) moving into Scotland and feeding off the poor and vulnerable, literally sucking the life out of Scotland’s people.
      Then independence so that NO government next door can dictate how Scotland should deal with such societal problems and so that Scotland can effectivley police this sort of crime being perpetrated by the big people, and put a stop to it. Until then, it will continue. You just have to look at Latin America, where drugs are rampant, it’s deliberate there too, keeps the people compliant and unable to fight back when their resources and land are thieved by the US and others in fact. Drugs are used as a control mechanism, where they can’t use religion or sport, also to divide people and control more socially democratic governments..the immorality of it is truly sickening.

      Like

      1. Decriminalisation is quite different to “making them available”, you may rest assured Ministers of the Crown will have no truck with decriminalisation by Gove by gove, sniff….
        What was once the playground of the rich has become the investment of the wannabee rich whether addicts or not, hence decriminalisation is off limits, and any serious conversation on the subject amongst Tories will then limited to restoring profit margins…..

        Like

  8. “Tragically, these ‘future vulnerabilities’ are now reflected in current mortality statistics and raise an important question regarding the capacity of a devolved administration with limited powers to respond to such a situation, and therefore to achieve its stated aim of tackling inequalities. Two specific examples of policy developments are pertinent to this discussion: ‘fair’ work/wages and social security. In both of these areas, welcome measures have been introduced by the Scottish Government; however, with both employment law and the vast majority of social
    security powers still reserved to Westminster, what impact can these relatively small changes really have on overall inequalities? In-work poverty levels have increased considerably in recent years, associated with low pay, zero hours contracts, the so-called ‘gig economy’, and more20. And by next year the social security budget in the UK will have been cut by an astonishing £47 billion since the onset of UK government ‘austerity’ policies in 201021.”

    Click to access Policy_recommendations_for_population_health-progress_and_challenges.pdf


    .

    Like

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