BBC Scotland still hooked on drug deaths ignores ‘the news’ of an 8% fall in 2021

As the Scottish Tories, blinding us with their polished brass necks, introduce a Right to Recovery Bill for drug addicts, BBC Scotland, once more misrepresent the facts by careful selection of data.

Yes drug deaths were at a record high as recently as 2019 but, crucially, the news is that they began to fall in the second half of 2020 and were down 8% in 2021.

They did the same, 5 days ago. You can read the full detail here:

5 thoughts on “BBC Scotland still hooked on drug deaths ignores ‘the news’ of an 8% fall in 2021

  1. Today’s Good Morning Scotland was like an extended party political broadcast on behalf of the Douglass Ross appreciation society. His private member’s bill is also the lead item of the hourly headlines.

    After talking about the proposal in the context of ‘record numbers of deaths’, ‘worst in Europe”, etc. and a few soundbite quotes from drugs support campaigners asserting, unchallenged, that ‘nothing is being done’, we are then told that Angela Constance, said, “the SG has yet to decide if it will support this.”

    Then they tell us about a private member’s bill by Mr Paul Sweeney MSP to legalise drugs consumption rooms.

    The clear impression is that the Scottish Government is doing nothing to tackle the issue of drugs.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Labour’s legacy in Scotland is shameful. Their atrocious neglect in making improvements to people’s lives who were left on the scrapheap in dreadful schemes with no prospects (unless they left to seek a decent life elsewhere) is what led to very high drug use and of course, the import of drugs into Scotland’s communities was no accident.

    The SNP have worked hard to try to tackle the problem, and if course they were banned from introducing safe use rooms(?) By the English government because it is a reserved power. It’s disgraceful that even helping people with health and addiction problems in Scotland has been under the control of the English government.

    The English government really are sleekit scheming lying bullies. To repair the damage of years of deliberate neglect at the hands of the BritNats is not even something that can be done overnight, but the SNP have made a start. The BritNats would see any progress reversed or, will take the credit for themselves. Either way, their underhand tactics are not something Scotland should tolerate for much longer.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. What a hypocrite the toerag Dross is. The Scottish gov and Westminster have distinctly different policy objectives in tackling drug addiction. One prefers retribution the other support. One incarceration and villification , the other supports rehabilitation and drug consumption rooms. Not difficult to guess which is which.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Reporting Scotland this evening trotted out a few statistics from trend data on drug deaths in Scotland (ignoring recent ‘improvements’). For a moment leaving aside the absolute number per head of population – a legacy effect to a large extent – and look just at trends data, the picture elsewhere in the UK is no better, perhaps worse than Scotland.

    I repeat below what I wrote for TuS on 15 May this year:

    The Tories have been in government in Westminster now for well over a decade. During this time, Tory ministers have had access to ALL the powers and to ALL the finance they could wish for to tackle drug misuse in England. … it seems only reasonable to examine the evidence of how well Tory governments – with all their advantages – have in fact performed.

    Source: ONS (3 August, 2021) Deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales: 2020 registrations. ( )

    In this latest data release, the ONS reveals that the track record of Westminster is hardly something to boast about! Here are few extracts from the report:

    1) ‘The rate of drug poisonings continues to increase – 4,561 deaths related to drug poisoning were registered in England and Wales in 2020; THE HIGHEST NUMBER SINCE RECORDS BEGAN in 1993, and 3.8% higher than in 2019 (4,393 registered deaths).’ (my emphasis)

    2) ‘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.’

    3) From the same ONS report see: ‘Figure 2: Rates of drug misuse deaths increased in 2020 – Age-standardised mortality rates for deaths related to drug misuse, by sex, England and Wales, registered between 1993 and 2020′.

    In summary, this graph (i.e. Figure 2) reveals this regarding drugs misuse in England and Wales: 
15.7 deaths per million in 1993, 
29.1 deaths per million in 2012,
 52.3 deaths per million in 2020.

    The trend line in the graph shows that the increase from 2012 to 2020 – on Tory governments’ watch – is the steepest rise since a similar steep rise in the 1990s.

    4) ‘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).


    And finally for me this is an important point: all English regions are subject to the same government; to the same parliament; to the same justice system; to the same healthcare system. Yet such marked regional differences in deaths due to drug misuse occur and indeed are sustained over many years.

    Is the Tory government and the Westminster Parliament preferentially too soft on drugs on the NE of England? Is it engaged in a postcode lottery in terms of providing ‘solutions’? Time for a ‘devastating attack’ on Tory government drug policies for England? Certainly no case for taking lessons from the Tories in Westminster on this matter.

    Liked by 2 people

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