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Drugs crisis worries for region

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By Ben Murray
Front
Drugs crisis worries for region

DUMFRIES and Galloway is in the grip of a drugs crisis – one MSP claimed yesterday.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth highlighted new statistics showing increases in drug related hospital admissions and drug related attendances at emergency departments in the region.

The information from Public Health Scotland revealed:

The number of emergency naloxone administration incidents decreased by 33 per cent (29 May to 3 September) compared to the previous 14 weeks

The number of drug-related emergency department attendances rose by 13 per cent (29 May to 3 September) compared to the previous 14 weeks

The number of drug-related hospital admissions increased by 32 per cent (3 April to 2 July 2023) compared to the previous 13 weeks; this is 40 per cent higher than the same period in 2022

Commenting, the MSP said: “Over the past couple of months we’ve seen various concerning figures which really hammer home how serious a problem Scotland still has with drugs.

“These figures for Dumfries and Galloway show a deeply worrying jump in drug-related hospital admissions compared to 2022 and this reveals, like many other places in Scotland, the impact drugs have on many peoples’ lives.

“For too long, the Scottish Government took its eye off the ball on drugs with tragic and disastrous results.

“While the action now being taken by the government is welcome, it is clear that the situation is continuing to deteriorate due to long-term neglect.

“Cuts in funding for rehab a few years ago are still taking a heavy toll, and just with any disease, we urgently need to see more investment to treat what is ultimately a health crisis.

“Unless we tackle the underlying causes of this disease such as poverty, poor housing, and the shocking education attainment gap, then we will fail to get to grips on the crisis.”

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