Drug death figures among younger users ‘a badge of shame’ for Conservatives

UK Drugs Tsar, Kit Malthouse

Paraphrasing the Daily Express header ‘Drug death figures ‘a badge of shame’ for Nicola Sturgeon as second highest total recorded‘, last month, I draw attention to an emerging scandal and dramatic shift in the relative drug deaths in Scotland and in England & Wales.

Drug deaths among both the 15-24 and 25-34 age groups are climbing in England & Wales to a record high in 2021 (see tables below). Media attention has been light and no blame has been directed toward Kit Maltouse, a regular critic of the Scottish Government, above.

In sharp contrast drug deaths among both the 15-24 and 25-34 age groups are falling in Scotland, after peaking in 2008. Since then, under SNP governments, they have been stable before falling to only 11 and 28 cases respectively, 39 in total, in 2021.

Because the Office for National Statistics and the National Records of Scotland used different groupings for their published annual data, comparative trends in Scotland and in England & Wales, figures have not been clear and have been missed.

Scotland has 15-24, 25-34 and 35-44 age groups while England and Wales has Under 20, 20-29 and 30-39, so comparisons could not be precise.

However, researchers at the ONS have kindly provided me with re-sorted data for the 15-24 and 25-34 groups in England & Wales:

UK Statistics Authority |Awdurdod Ystadegau’r Deyrnas Unedig | @UKStatsAuth| Tel: 01329 447 195 | Email: Dan.Beck@statistics.gov.uk | Web: www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk
UK Statistics Authority |Awdurdod Ystadegau’r Deyrnas Unedig | @UKStatsAuth| Tel: 01329 447 195 | Email: Dan.Beck@statistics.gov.uk | Web: www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk

England & Wales have 11 times the population and so, all things being equal, should have 11 times the 39 drug deaths for 15 -34 year-olds in Scotland, or 429.

However, for the same age groups, they had 1 005 or 661 depending on whether you count all drug deaths or only those from ‘abuse.’ Scotland does not have this breakdown but either way the death rate is far higher in England & Wales, by between 54% and more than twice as high.

Scotland does still have higher drug death rates among older users (>35) who became addicts under Thatcher, were ignored by the Blair government and who are now dying together at the end of shortened lives, regardless of the help offered by Scotland’s target busting treatment programmes.

Surely what is more important is that Scotland is tending clearly toward lower drug deaths and and away from its tragic past. That’s news too.

Scottish Source:

4 thoughts on “Drug death figures among younger users ‘a badge of shame’ for Conservatives

  1. What IS ”a badge of shame ” is for unionist politicians and their compliant media using the tragedies of drug deaths as a weapon to undermine the Scottish Government but to turn a Nelson Eye to similar problems in their own bailiwick south of the border .
    Shame on them !

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Is Scotland still banned by the English government, from having drugs treatment rooms?

    O/T on another subject but the English government deliberately held Scotland back and still do.

    The British state, English government, many years ago, even when they were ruling over Scotland 100%, used the same tactics as they do now to thwart any progress for the people of Scotland. The Highland and Islands Board were given a few £’s and minimal powers to tinker with land use problems.

    Here is a quote from the book, ‘Highland Experiment’ by James Grassie.

    ‘Sir kenneth said that the board’s proposals for changes in their act to allow more effective powers over rural land use had been submitted to the Government in 1978 following extensive consultation with all the main bodies concerned. In 1979 Lord Mansfield, the Minister of State at the Scottish office, had asked the board to provide evidence of well documented examples of areas where the board would wish to see such powers exercised.
    This information was provided to the Government some months later. There had been no further discussion at that stage and the board had been surprised when, in March 1980, the Secretary of State, in replying to a parliamentary question, had said that the board would not be given additional powers. He also said, that as the existing powers had not been used, there was no reason to augment the powers already held.
    The board had found this particularly strange when they knew that the Government’s own advice was that the boards existing powers were inadequate to deal with the types of land use problems which the board had highlighted. It therefore seemed strange for the board to be given advice to try to use these powers. The board had written to this effect to the Scottish office. They replied that although the Government did not intend to introduce measures to give effect to the board’s proposals (as they stood) the continuing exchange on the under-use of land, it’s extent and causes, had not been closed.’

    The English government have stolen from Scotland, land, resources and lives. It’s time for independence, in fact it was time for independence a long time ago.

    Liked by 2 people

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