Statistics released from ISD Scotland have shown that there has been an increase in drug-related deaths between 2015 and 2016 in NHS Tayside.
There were 66 deaths in 2016, an increase from the 58 deaths in 2015 and the rate has doubled since 2010 when there were just 32 deaths.
Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser is concerned by these figures and believes drug-prevention strategy needs to change in order to buck this trend.
Commenting, Murdo Fraser MSP said:
“These statistics are particularly concerning considering the Scottish Government’s focus on reducing drug addiction.
“Last year the Courier newspaper exposed the shocking aftermath of drug addiction in Dundee and that more needs to be done to move people off illegal substances.
“In Tayside, recent statistics in December revealed that only 81.5% patients were seen within three weeks for alcohol and drug addiction and the average waiting time was 34 days, some way below the Scotland-wide figure of 20 days. Clearly more needs to be done to intervene earlier and save lives.
“Ultimately, parking people on methadone has done nothing to ease problems associated with addiction and this has been compounded by a rise in consumption of new psychoactive substances.
“Reducing drug deaths is a huge challenge and one that the Scottish Government needs to tackle head on.”