Scotland has the highest drug death toll in the UK, indeed in Europe but something dramatic is happening.
First, the NRS figure based on the presence of drugs in the bloodstream fell, by 1%, for the first time in nearly a decade while the Police Scotland figure, based of scene of death forensic evidence fell by 27%. See: https://talkingupscotlandtwo.com/2022/06/16/massive-fall-as-predicted-here-in-scotlands-drug-deaths/
This has been largely explained by a natural consequence of the many older drug abusers who became addicted during the Conservative Government’s brutal de-industrialisation in the 1980s and the subsequent neglect of the New Labour period, coming together, to the end of their inevitably shortened lives. However, NHS Scotland’s drug treatment programmes have smashed their 90% targets year after year under the SNP and will have had some effect. See: https://talkingupscotlandtwo.com/2020/09/29/nhs-scotland-beats-drug-treatment-target-again/
Second, I await confirmation of the data for the 30-34 year old group, from ONS researchers, but the death rate amongst those from 15 to 34 in England & Wales seems likely to be around 60% higher there than in Scotland. Full analysis here: https://talkingupscotlandtwo.com/2022/08/12/drug-deaths-among-the-young-now-falling-and-significantly-lower-in-scotland-than-in-england-wales/
If, as unionist media insist, the SNP can be blamed for higher drug death levels amongst older abusers, then logically and fairly, they can take the credit for the dramatically lower levels amongst younger users.
What has the SNP Government done, in addition to more effective treatment programmes?
Poverty is a major contributory factor to levels of drug abuse and consequent deaths. See: https://equalitytrust.org.uk/drug-abuse
Despite the fiscal limitations of devolution, poverty is lower in Scotland than in England, in terms of benefits for the poor and their children and in terms of access to affordable housing. See: https://talkingupscotlandtwo.com/2022/07/12/scotlands-lower-child-poverty-must-be-concealed/
This is only the beginning.