Scandal of drug hospitalisations continues to grow


Responding to the news that the rate of drug-related hospitalisations continue to increase, as hospital stays rise to almost 15,000.

New statistics by Public Health Scotland show that in 2019/20, there were 14,976 drug-related hospital stays. This amounts to a stay rate of 282 stays per 100,000 population, which is a threefold increase since 1997/98.

The statistics published today have also revealed the highest number of drug-related hospitalisations for the under 25 age group in the last 8 years, with the patient rate up to 99 per 100,000 of the population.

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

“These figures show that the damaging legacy of underfunding will see ripple effects for years to come. The drugs deaths scandal sadly looks set to continue.

“It took too long for the Scottish Government to step up and see the deadly reality of Scotland’s drugs deaths crisis. Pathways for support were shut down. People and families have been scarred by these problems and drained by their attempts to seek help at depleted local facilities. There will be a legacy of harm for years to come.

“The debate in Parliament this Thursday must be used as an opportunity to show that the drift on this key public health emergency is finally at an end. We need to see concrete actions, like a Scotland wide network for the provision of heroin assisted treatment and a clear commitment to the principle of diversion.

“The new Minister must move quickly to turn this around.”


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