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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