This is too good an SNPBad story to let go.
For the first time in years, Scotland’s drug deaths fell but BBC Scotland could only say:
There were 722 suspected drug deaths in the first half of 2021, the latest official figures show.
That is a small decrease of nine deaths on the same period last year.
The latest figures for drug overdoses come just two months after those for 2020 showed a record 1,339 deaths.
The new report is an attempt to give more up-to-date data after criticism that figures lagged too far behind. The stats for 2019 were only released at the end of the following year.
The latest data shows the deaths that the police suspect involve illicit drugs based on reports of attending officers’ observations and initial inquiries at the scene of death.
The figures are different from the annual National Records of Scotland (NRS) statistics which use data from death registration records and forensic examination.
However, the Scottish government, which will release the figures quarterly, hopes they will give a more “timely” picture of what is happening.
Scotland continues to have by far the highest drug death rate recorded by any country in Europe.
And its rate is more than three-and-a-half times that of England and Wales.https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-58557727
I’ll repeat my previous post content to make sure as many as possible get this:
For the first time in years, the number of drug deaths in Scotland has not climbed. Indeed it has even fallen, if only by 1%.
If this trend is repeated for the next six months, then we are almost certainly witnessing something I reflected on in July 2021.
I agree fully that we should do all we can, now, to reduce drug deaths.
But, this ‘crisis’ may be burning itself out. See these graphs:
In a BBC Scotland report from December 2020:
The National Records of Scotland statistics are six months late after a huge backlog in processing toxicology results and delays due to Covid-19. They show that two-thirds of those who died were aged 35 to 54. The report said the median average age of drug-related deaths had gone up from 28 to 42 over the past two decades. However, there was also an increase in deaths among 15 to 24 year olds – from 64 in 2018 to 76 in 2019.
That the graphs divide the data simply into over 35 and under 34 groups slightly conceals the evidence that Scotland’s exceptionally high drug deaths are due to a wave of death affecting those whose lives were ruined by Tory economic policies from 1979 to 1997 and, crucially, that the wave already shows signs of fading out as the older members, 55-64 disappear from the data:
Even were we to do nothing and I’m by no means suggesting that, the shortened lives inevitable after a life of drug abuse, mean that 35-55 group do not have long even if they avoid overdose and the level of deaths among the currently under 34, not unusual in other countries, will become the norm.