Urgent call for for media clarity on Scotland’s falling drug deaths

Two years after Scotland’s drug deaths peaked at ‘record’ levels, the MSM continue to ‘milk blood for fear of running out’ in an effort to keep this alleged SNP failure at the forefront of audience minds.

What’s missing to properly inform the public, as they proudly claim they do?

  • Police Scotland’s on-the-scene estimates are more accurate
  • Scotland’s drug deaths have been falling for two years now
  • Comparisons with other countries such as England are not valid
  • Scotland’s drug deaths spike was largely the result of Tory economic policies in the 80s and 90s and a failure of New Labour policies thereafter
  • The Scottish Government has beaten the waiting time targets for drug treatment.

Police Scotland’s on-the-scene estimates are more accurate

Police Scotland data are based on reports from police officers attending scenes of death. Classification as a suspected drug death is based on an officer’s observations and initial enquiries at the scene of death. NRS statistics are based on the presence of a proscribed drug in the body of anyone who has died and for whom a post mortem investigation was carried out, regardless of whether or not there is evidence that it caused the death. This may be an important factor in inflating Scottish figures and comparing with drug death rates in different countries.

Scotland’s drug deaths have been falling for two years now

In 2020/2021:

Based on Police Scotland estimates in 2021, there were 8% (116) fewer drug deaths overall than in 2020. The NRS report in July 2020 had already revealed earlier signs with a small reduction, for the first time, from 6% to 5% after decades of steady increases.

Two thirds (67%) were in the above age group (35-54), often born into families first broken by long-term unemployment and despair in the 80s. No data for the over 54 age-group is offered. Are they already gone and are too few to mention?

Perhaps most dramatic, there were 68 suspected drug deaths in the under 25 age group, 23% (20) fewer than during 2020.



Click to access drug-related-deaths-20-pub.pdf

In 2022:

There were 285 suspected drug deaths recorded between January and March 2022.There were 27% (108) fewer suspected drug deaths than during the same period of 2021 (January to March 2021: 393). Two-thirds (66%) of suspected drug deaths were of people aged between 35 and 54. This was broadly in line with previous quarters. There were 15 suspected drug deaths in the under 25 age group, 25% (5) fewer than during January and March 2021. There were 1,187 suspected drug deaths over the 12 months to March 2022, 20% (299)
fewer than the 12 months to March 2021.


Comparisons with other countries such as England are not valid

‘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).’ 


The same reservations about comparison with any other country apply again.

Scotland’s drug deaths spike was largely the result of Tory economic policies in the 80s and 90s and a failure of New Labour policies thereafter

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 Distress

The Scottish Government has beaten the waiting time targets for drug treatment.

Of the 8,202 referrals to community-based specialist drug and alcohol treatment services completed in this quarter [January to March 2022], 92% involved a wait of three weeks or less.


The 90% target has been beaten for several years now.


9 thoughts on “Urgent call for for media clarity on Scotland’s falling drug deaths

  1. It is sadly and predictably unlikely that the Media will provide a ”fair” comparison of Scotland drug deaths with the rUK , or anywhere else for that matter .

    As TUS has repeatedly underscored , the unionist media , often led by the notoriously impartial BBC ( LoL ! ) , have no interest in providing a balanced view of ANYTHING that happens in Scotland which could help damage the cause of the Union .
    If one were to believe the scribblings of the unionist media Scotland should be evacuated immediately as it is a complete sh*thole , governed by the most corrupt and self-serving Party in history .

    As has been said before , the Scottish Government could discover a cure for cancer , a limitless source of free energy , and solve hunger across the planet – yet still the only headline among the unionist media would be ”Ferries behind schedule ! ”

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I always picture these ‘journalists’ (snigger) sleeping on their union flag pillows and duvet with either a picture of the Queen and /or Rangers FC team on the wall above their bed as reminders just in case they slip out of their coma into the real world . Alas they will never change and I pity this nation that a fair % still believe this blatant propaganda.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. No chance of clarity being sought when the Herald can churn out a load of Bol’s (creative writings) – Note the framing of his opening paragraph “The Minster… will lobby for more funding AFTER a stark warning….”. – Cause -> Effect.
    I doubt there has ever been a time in the history of the SG when a Minister was not screaming blue murder for more funds, even when McConnel handed back a huge wodge in exchange for a seat in the Lords.

    The public have long known politicians lie, some most egregiously, journalists mostly didn’t, but now do with alarming frequency, wittingly or unwittingly.

    Trust in UK media output has fallen dramatically since they ceased doing journalism, whilst in Scotland it has almost vanished.
    You’d think propagandists might be alarmed by falling public credibility in the media, yet they continue unperturbed.
    Is the gambit to sow confusion so none forms an opinion ?

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Drug rehabilitation facilities reduced from 10 to 2. There were no proper rehabilitation facilities for people to go. Increased funding was allocated to councils under social care. The (unionist) Councils did not fund proper total abstinence facilities spending the funds on other matters. Council heads of social work policies did not believe in proper total abstinence rehab facilities. People can be put on methadone for years, All the drug deaths in Scotland are because people are given prescribed substances and then take other substances.

    Some Health Boards (unionist) did not fund primary care (detox facilities). It had to be paid privately. Grampian Health board the only health board in Scotland that did not fund primary care.

    The SNHS funds the medical care of people who do not receive care of proper total abstinence (one chance) rehab facilities. People on methadone and other prescription drugs. Just as dangerous as heroin. People now take cocaine and ketamine as the drug of choice. Alcohol has a worst effect on the human body than drugs. Drugs kill people earlier. Longtime drugs average 40 years. Alcohol 50-60 years, Earlier death on average. Average life expectancy 79 years.

    Thatcher care in the community – prison. Prison £40,000 a year. Proper drug rehabilitation public/private funding much less. Spend £Millions to save £Billions. The SNHS cost increase people getting care because of long term drug/alcohol issues.

    It is relatively the same in the South because of Tory policies and austerity. Cutting NHS budget instead of increasing it. Westminster policies are at the cause of it. Especially in Scotland. Scotland started from a higher historical threshold. 25% more of consumption. This is falling, gradually, over time. 10%?

    Thatcher. Higher unemployment in Scotland 15%. 10% unemployment in the South. Thatcher illegally and secretly diverted Scottish funds and resources to fund and support London S/E. The bankers who fund the Tory Party and evade tax. Thatcher established offshore tax evasion. Contributed to poverty, hardship and higher unemployment. UK joined the EU 1970s to stop economic decline. No internet or computers 1970/80. Devolution 2000. Changing things for the better.

    People went on disability benefit because of higher pay out. Encouraged by Gov. Inflation 18%. Interest rate 15%. Corrupt banking system. Thatcher (Reagan) deregulated banking system world wide, Cut leverage half from 25% to 12%. Not enough collateral. It lead on to the banking collapse worldwide. London City is the tax evasion capital of the world. Destroying other countries ability to raise taxes and revenues.

    Other countries take much stronger action to regulate the tax system and prevent financial fraud. Westminster condone it because they benefit from it. In their self interest. Tax evading billionaires setting the tax rate for others. An absolute scandal. Abusing public money to line their own and their associates pockets. Losing £Billions of public monies and funds that could be better spent,

    Consumption has dropped in Scotland because of SNP alcohol policies. MUP. Still higher than the south but still falling. Less alcohol deaths. Average less deaths. 50,000 people die a year in Scotland Average 79 after a long (and happy? life) Japan highest 85. Spain 84. Healthy life style. Fish and vegetables. A Mediterranean diet. Lifestyle changes lead to a happy, healthy life. Live longer with less alcohol or drugs damaging the body system.

    The young are following on. More medical health education in schools and the media. The majority of people do not drink/drug. Gender links to ‘crime’. Much crime committed is alcohol/drug related. Too many people with additional needs are in prison without the right support. One of the highest number in Europe. Not enough diversity training for those in authority.

    The Scottish Gov has recently allocated £250million to fund alcohol/drug proper rehabilitation. £50Million a year. SNHS funding has increased. Mitigating Westminster NHS cuts. Increased social care. People with drug/alcohol problems should approach or join NA – narcotics anonymous or AA. There they will get help and advice to overcome alcohol and drug addictions.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Westminster tax evading Millionaires setting the tax rate for others. An absolute scandal. Truss PM. What a shower. Never have so many been promoted above their capabilities. It is beyond comprehension.

    More support for Independence.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. English drugs gangs do much of their business in Scotland. That needs to be stopped, and of course, Scotland’s vast coastline is not effectively policed. Security of Scottish waters is a reserved power to the English cabal in London, frighteningly, it’s not exactly going to be a priority of the Eng/UK/Gov.
    Again the legacy of English rule is felt to this day, it would be much much worse if any BritNat party were at the helm however.

    Scotland’ needs to ditch the UK to be able to more effectively solve the terrible long term damage of Brit/English rule on services, the environment and communities in Scotland.


  7. An addict illegally took drug into Castle Craig. He later died. His mother a nurse kicked up such a row, that Castle Craig were prevented by the authorities to receive public funding and SNHS patients. The best rehab facilities in the world. Preventing other people getting the best excellent care. It now has to be paid for privately not as a partnership. Extremely expensive. Especially for primary care detox.

    Detoxing from alcohol addiction can be dangerous without proper professional help and monitoring. People can die. They have to get 24hour care in the first instance. Drug rehabilitation takes two years before people are back to the norm and resist the temptation to take drugs. Meetings and contact can be essential to keep from harm and drug free. People die from going back to taking drugs if their resistance is low.

    No one wants to be addicted to drugs. In the DNA. Most want to stop but cannot achieve it without professional help. Certain people have to be put in an induced coma to prevent them dying. Certain rehab facilities tell people with addiction problems to drink wine with a meal. Or lower intake. Poor advise. People with addiction go down again without abstinence. The majority of the population do not drink or drug and lead long and reasonable happy lives. Everything in moderation. Except those with addiction. They cannot stop.


  8. OT but highly amusing – HMS James Cook yet again attempting to frame the story with distorted context, and ending up looking rather silly….


  9. People who have private health care benefits with their job. They pay full tax on it. A tiny % who use the NHS. A tiny increase in statistics. A few of the average total use. ‘Reporters’ and statistics. They have not got a clue with maths. It is more than absolute nonsense. Complete lack of sense. Millions use the healthcare system and know how good it can be. That is why the NHS has such high support. People appreciate it.

    Reporters, ‘journalists’ and politicians attacking the NHS, They do not have a clue. The NHS saving lives every day. That is why people appreciate it. Thousands/millions of out patients.

    The hysteria over two potential inadequate ‘leaders’ who will not last a year. Disconcerting in every way. A complete waste of time and space. The Westminster corruption – sickening.

    More people lose their lives over Westminster corruption and failures. Underfunding the NHS for years. The Scottish Gov has to mitigate the costs. That is why the healthcare service in Scotland is better. Better priorities.


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