Drug-related death rate on the increase in Falkirk area

The drug-related death rate has increased greatly in the Falkirk area over the last two decades with 77 deaths recorded last year alone.

By James Trimble
Friday, 30th July 2021, 1:16 pm
Updated Friday, 30th July 2021, 2:21 pm

According to new statistics from the National Records of Scotland, there were 1339 drug-related deaths registered in the country as a whole in 2020 – an increase of five per cent from 2019.

Of the 77 drug deaths in Forth Valley in 2020, 43 of them related to heroin, 40 to methadone, 11 to codeine, 23 to cocaine, two to ecstasy and 27 to alcohol.

In Falkirk there were 37 drug deaths in 2020, 19 of which related to heroin and methadone, five to codeine, 13 to cocaine, one to ecstasy and 10 to alcohol.

The drugs-related death rate is increasing in Falkirk

Clackmannanshire recorded nine drug-related deaths, while Stirling had 31.

Forth Valley’s drug-related death rate between 2016 and 2020 was 21.2 – the same rate as Scotland as a whole.

In Falkirk over the same period the drug death rate was 20.9, while Forth Valley areas Stirling and Clackmannanshire had rates of 21.2 and 22.3 respectively.

Greater Glasgow and Clyde had the highest drug-related death rate of all of Scotland’s health board areas with 30.8, followed by Ayrshire and Arra (27.2) and Tayside (25.7).

From the period 2000 to 2004 Forth Valley had a drugs related death rate of just 4.5 – that means the rate has increased by 16.7 over the period 2016 to 2020.

Falkirk had a drugs-related death rate of 3.8 between 2000 and 2004 which increased by 17.1 between 2016 and 2020.

This compares to the drug-related death rate for Scotland between 2000 and 2004 of 6.3 making an increase of 14.9 over 2016 to 2020.

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Ealier this year a vital project designed to help prevent drug deaths and deliver more support to those living with addiction received £48,704 of Scottish Government Drugs Deaths Taskforce funding.

The Change Grow Live charity, which is partnering with Falkirk Alcohol and Drug Partnership to develop one-stop community recovery hubs, used the money to pay for an advanced nurse practitioner, who will help people access the care they need, including mental health, physical health and drug services.

Patricia Cassidy, chief officer of Falkirk Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “These tragic statistics underline our focus to reach as many people in need of support as possible, our local support is provided through the Forth Valley Alcohol and Drug Partnership

“A wide range of drug and alcohol treatment services are available for people in Forth Valley. This includes one-to-one and group support, counselling and community rehabilitation in Falkirk, Stirling and Alloa.

“Outreach services also work with people in local communities to reduce harm caused by drug and alcohol use, increase the distribution of naloxone kits and provide naloxone training which can help save lives.

“We would urge anyone concerned about drug or alcohol issues to contact 0808 196 2188 or visit the website for information and advice.”

Almost two thirds of all drug-related deaths were of people aged between 35 and 54, while the average age of drug-related deaths has increased from 32 to 43 over the last 20 years.

Scotland’s drug-death rate continues to be over three-and-a-half times that for the UK as a whole, and higher than that of any European country

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