First signs Scotland’s drugs death crisis is coming to an end naturally?

Not for the first time, MSM Monitor spots something interesting before I properly wake up.

This might be very revealing indeed. 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:

age and gender

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.

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5 thoughts on “First signs Scotland’s drugs death crisis is coming to an end naturally?

    1. “.. something happens in 2014 in Scotland’. Leaving aside the obvious (!) … but to be serious about a serious subject, you may be interested in this report:

      National Records of Scotland (2015) Drug-related deaths in Scotland in 2014 – Statistics of drug-related deaths in 2014 and earlier years, broken down by age, sex, selected drugs reported, underlying cause of death and NHS Board and Council areas. ( )

      And more generally, although the absolute numbers of drug-related deaths in Scotland per unit of population size are very high, the trend in England has been notably upwards and has reached record levels, albeit with very marked regional variations.

      The following extracts are from: ONS (1 August 2021) Deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales: 2020 registrations.

      “Rates of drug-related poisoning were 60.9% higher in 2020 (79.5 deaths per million) than they were in 2010 (49.4 per million). The rate has increased every year since 2012 ..”

      “In 2020, the highest rate of drug misuse deaths was found in those aged 45 to 49 years, closely followed by those aged 40 to 44 years. This age cohort, born between 1970 and 1979, and often referred to as ‘Generation x’, have consistently had the highest rates of drug misuse deaths for the past 25 years ..”

      On English regional variation: “In 2020, the highest rate of drug misuse deaths was observed in the North East (104.6 deaths per million; 258 registered deaths), while the lowest rate was in London (33.1 deaths per million; 296 deaths). The North East has had the highest rate of drug misuse for the past eight years and has a statistically significantly higher rate than all other regions of England.”

      And then there is this other, ‘background’ factor: ONS (23 September 2015) National life tables, UK: 2012 to 2014

      “Life expectancy for Scotland remained consistently lower, for both men and women, than in the other 3 constituent countries throughout the period 1980–1982 to 2012–2014. This could be associated with higher levels of alcohol consumption, a greater smoking prevalence and higher levels of cardio-vascular diseases in Scotland compared to the other constituent countries of the UK.”


  1. Young people are now using cocaine and ketamine. Along with alcohol. A dangerous cocktail. The Scottish Gov has put £250million (5 years) into addiction problem funding. To get people well and healthier. Everybody deserves one chance.

    The funding will get people well. It will save lives and public monies. A good investment in the economy. For better health and financial reasons. Crime is linked to drink and drug abuse. Prison costs £40,000. The drinks in the wit’s oot. There will be better outcomes because of the much needed investment. The Scottish Gov has listened and is dealing with it.

    Scotland started from a higher bench mark of alcohol consumption (25%) and drug addiction compared to the rest of the UK and other countries. For historical reasons, (Thatcher) It has been reduced by 50% in a short period. MUP has reduced consumption and death. Blair 24/7 drinking did not help. Labour did not support MUP or the smoking ban.


  2. The vast majority of drugs deaths are down to these counterfeit diazepam, why does the Scottish Government not reverse its policy on directing Doctors not to prescribe them, even a small therapeutic dose would be sufficient and you could always change for the prescription putting much needed money back into the NHS and out of the hands of the death dealers.


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