Quicker treatment will help cut deaths

The rise in the number of drug-related deaths in Scotland last
year highlights the need for more rapid access to better treatment
services, pressure group the Scottish Drugs Forum has said.

It made the comments following figures published last week by
the Registrar General for Scotland, showing there was a 12 per cent
increase in drug-related deaths last year. In 2004, there were 356
deaths, 39 more than in 2003 but 26 fewer than in 2002.

Nearly two-thirds of deaths were from heroin/morphine and the
report suggests a slight rise in the number of deaths among drug

There was a 31 per cent increase in deaths from cocaine, though
those from temazepam and alcohol fell.

Forum director David Liddell said: “Much more needs to be done
to ensure people needing help are able to access a full and proper
range of high quality treatment and care when and where they want

Almost four-fifths of those who died from drugs were men aged
over 25, which Liddell said highlighted the particular
vulnerability of people with long-term problems.


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