Drug-related deaths in Lothian

There were 159 drug related deaths in Lothian last year, according to new figures published by the National Records of Scotland.

Monday, 2nd August 2021, 6:00 am
Photo by John Devlin. Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater .

The statistics showed that across Scotland a record 1,339 drug deaths were recorded in 2020, meaning Scotland once again has the highest rate of drug deaths in Europe.

Commenting, Scottish Greens List MSP for Lothian Lorna Slater, said: "Every single one of these deaths is a preventable tragedy.

“The strategy pursued by the UK and Scottish governments must change.

"The war on drugs has failed. It’s long past time for this crisis to be treated as the public health emergency that it is.

"We need a new approach which focuses on restoring people’s dignity and treating them, rather than criminalising them.”

She added: “We urgently need the Scottish Government to do everything in its powers to save lives.

"We also need all parties to work together to urge the Conservative Government in Westminster to devolve powers and change the out-dated and dangerous Misuse of Drugs Act.”