DEEPENING DRUGS CRISIS DEMANDS ACTION BEFORE MORE LIVES LOST, SAYS BAILLIE
Even in jail, people are dying as drugs problem escalates.
By Bill Heaney
Scotland remains in the grip of a drugs crisis, Jackie Baillie has warned, as new statistics have shown the continuing huge scale of Scotland’s drug problem.
Newly-published statistics have shown a stark increase in drug-related harms across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde between June and August 2023, compared to the previous quarter.
The statistics show:
- The number of emergency naloxone administration incidents rising by more than a half – 52 percent.
- The number of drug-related emergency department attendances rising by some 51 percent.
- The number of drug-related hospital admissions soaring by 14 percent.
The Dumbarton constituency MSP is demanding that the SNP ‘wake up’ to the continuing drugs crisis taking place in Scotland and act before more lives are lost.
Dame Jackie Baillie said: “These stark figures show a deeply worrying jump in drug-related hospital admissions across the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde area which includes my own constituency and show that Scotland is still in the grip of a drugs crisis.
“For too long, the SNP government took its eye off the ball on drugs with tragic and disastrous results.
“While the action now being taken by the government is welcome, it is clear that the situation is continuing to deteriorate due to long-term neglect. It’s time the SNP stopped patting itself on the back for realising we have a drugs crisis and stopped picking needless constitutional battles on this vital and deadly issue.
“Action must be taken now before more lives are tragically lost.”
- Between June and August 2023, the average weekly number of Scottish Ambulance Service naloxone incidents increased (weekly average 89 and 95 respectively). These figures do not take account of naloxone administration by members of the public, service workers, or other emergency responders such as police officers.
- Between June and August 2023, drug-related attendances at emergency departments were 13% higher than the previous time period.
- Between April and June 2023, drug-related hospital admissions were 26% higher than the previous time period.
- Between June and August 2023, there were 307 suspected drug deaths. The number of deaths was similar to the same period in 2021 (317) and 7% higher compared to 2022 (286).