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Drug death toll

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By Fiona Reid
Drug death toll

NEW figures have revealed that 22 drug deaths occurred in Dumfries and Galloway last year.

It’s a drop on the 35 fatalities recorded in 2019 but is still the region’s second highest annual death toll in the past decade.

According to the National Records of Scotland, the average number of drug-related deaths across Dumfries and Galloway between 2006 and 2010 was eight.

Following today’s publication of the numbers, Dumfriesshire MSP Oliver Mundell has urged the Scottish Government to give a greater focus to funding recovery services in the community and to write into law a right to necessary addiction treatment.

He said: “Behind every one of those 22 deaths is a broken family grieving the loss of a loved one, and it’s clear that much more needs to be done if the spiralling toll of drug-related fatalities is to be curbed locally.

“The number of local drug deaths has accelerated over the last decade, and while it is of course welcome that there has been a slight drop on the truly awful figure of 35 local fatalities in 2019, the fact is we urgently need decisive action from the Scottish Government to get to grips with this tragic situation.

“That’s why it is so important to communities here in Dumfries and Galloway, and across the whole of Scotland, that Scottish Ministers take the radical steps needed to invest more in local rehab facilities and make sure that those who need access to addiction treatment get it when they need it.

“The alternative is unchecked increases in drug deaths across local communities and more needlessly broken families and that is something we simply must not allow to happen.”

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