Drug-related deaths in Scotland have reached a new high, according to official figures released today.
The total of 584 deaths due to drugs in 2011 was 99 more than the previous year, an increase of 20 per cent. And the long-term trend is rising, up by 76 per cent from 2001.
Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs Roseanna Cunningham emphasised that the Scottish government was committed to supporting the recovery of those affected by drug addiction.
"Scotland has a legacy of drug misuse that stretches back decades, creating this upward 10-year trend in drug-related deaths. Many of those lost to us are older drug users who after years have become increasingly unwell," she added.
Methadone was implicated in 275 deaths, a large increase compared with the previous three years, while heroin and morphine accounted for 206 which was markedly fewer than in 2008, 2009 and 2010.