Third of drug deaths in Scotland were parents

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More than a third (36%) of drug-death victims in 2013 were parents or parental figures, according to analysis of official figures.

The NHS Information Services Division analysed the 526 drug deaths in that year, the latest for which full figures are available.

They said 273 children lost a parental figure.

Almost half of females who died a drug-related death had children under 16, compared with about a third of males.

The fifth report from the National Drug Related Deaths Database (NDRDD) for Scotland looks in greater detail at the official figures for drug deaths which were released in August last year.

The analysis is carried out to help develop interventions to reduce drug-related deaths, which have been slowly coming down.

But the number is still about 50% higher than 10 years ago.

The report said 76% of those who died were male and half lived in the most deprived areas of Scotland.

The percentage of deaths among individuals aged 35 and over increased from 50% in 2009 to 66% in 2013, the figures showed.

Almost two thirds (63%) of those analysed in the figures had a psychiatric condition recorded in the six months before they died.

Heroin was the drug most frequently implicated in death but in almost all cases multiple drugs were present in the body at death.

Methadone, heroin, morphine or buprenorphine were implicated in 76% of cases.

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