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Local News
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Scottish drug deaths down by a fifth

Local News

There were 1,051 deaths as a result of drug misuse in Scotland last year , according to statistics released by National Records of Scotland . This represents a reduction of 21 per cent from the previous year . The fall by almost 280 deaths from 2021 means 2022 ’ s figure is the lowest since 2017 . The number is still almost four times higher than in 2000 , however .

Opiates and opioids – including methadone – were implicated in more than 80 per cent of deaths and benzodiazepines were implicated in almost 60 per cent , with people in the country ’ s most deprived areas almost 16 times more likely to die from drug misuse compared to those in the least deprived . While men were still twice as likely to die a drug-related death than women , the fall in deaths in 2022 was much larger among men than women .
‘ While I am pleased to see that hundreds of families have been spared this agony and lives have been saved , every life lost is a
THE GAMBLING COMMISSION has become ‘ very concerned ’ at what it sees as a significant increase in the misuse of statistics , as ‘ different parties seek to make persuasive arguments ’, according to an open letter from its chief executive Andrew Rhodes .
Various groups and individuals have been trying to influence opinion during the development of the government ’ s gambling white paper , the letter states , adding that it is not the commission ’ s place to ‘ referee ’ the debate . ‘ However , much as everyone is entitled to present their arguments , what is wholly unacceptable is the misuse of
tragedy and the number of deaths is still too high ,’ said Scottish drugs minister Elena Whitham . ‘ I will never underestimate the scale of the challenge we continue to face , including responding to new threats such as synthetic opioids and stimulant use .’
Meanwhile , the number of alcohol-specific deaths in Scotland rose by just over 30 to 1,276 between 2021 and 2022 , according to Public Health Scotland – an increase of 2 per cent . The figure represents the highest number since 2008 . While the number of deaths among men remained unchanged – and men continue to account for two thirds of all alcohol-specific deaths – the number of deaths among women increased by 31 to 440 .
As with drug deaths , people in the country ’ s most deprived areas are more likely to die an alcoholspecific death . Earlier this year more than 30 health organisations and charities issued a call for urgent action to stop Scotland from ‘ sleep walking ’ back to the record levels of alcohol-related deaths it

Misuse of stats

‘ The most common misuse of statistics has been around conflating problem gambling and gambling-related harm .’
statistics to support that argument .’
The commission had seen misuse of statistics ‘ from gambling operators , trade bodies , charities , media outlets , sporting venue
‘ I will never underestimate the scale of the challenge we continue to face .’
saw in the early 2000s , including tightening of marketing restrictions and ‘ increased and sustained ’ investment in treatment .
owners and others ’, the letter says . ‘ All parties seeking to rely on statistics to advance their arguments must do so accurately and in the correct context .’
The gambling white paper was published in April , nearly two and a half years after the government first launched its review of the 2005 Gambling Act , which was designed to update legislation for the ‘ smartphone era ’.
The white paper ’ s proposals – which are now subject to further consultation – include a mandatory levy on gambling firms , revised stake limits for online slots games and improved player protection .
The most common misuse of statistics has been around conflating problem gambling and gambling-related harm , Rhodes ’ open letter states – ‘ two separate , but linked , experiences ’.
OPEN COMMUNITY Community Drug and Recovery Services ( CDARS ) is holding an open day event on 19 September at the Poppy Factory in Richmond , south west London . Speakers will include Mike Ward of Alcohol Change UK on supporting hard-to-reach people , and Dr Sally Adams of Birmingham University on the links between addiction and neurodiversity . Contact Joanna . miskiewicz @ cdars . org . uk by 10 September .
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY The tenth anniversary of the Recovery Games is being held in Doncaster on 16 September , hosted by Aspire Recovery . Around 40 teams will be competing , with last year ’ s event seeing attendances top 1,000 people . For more info contact stuart . green4 @ nhs . net .
SHEFFIELD SUPPORT A new service providing people in Sheffield with free , confidential support has been launched by Humankind and Project 6 . The Likewise service will play a ‘ vital role ’ in supporting people and communities impacted by drug and alcohol use , said Greg Fell , director of public health at Sheffield City Council , which commissioned the service . www . likewisesheffield . org . uk .
www . gov . scot