The County You Live, Work And Play
One Person Dies Each Week
One person dies from drugs in Lanarkshire every week, new figures reveal.
Drug-related deaths across the county last year were the third highest in Scotland according to the latest data.
In 2014 there were 67 deaths across both North and South Lanarkshire - this figure was only topped by Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s 189 deaths and Lothian’s 86 fatalities.
However, the figure was down from 75 the previous year.
Around 75 per cent of those were related to heroin, morphine or methadone.
Cocaine played a part in the deaths of four people with one person dying as a result of taking an Ecstasy-type drug.
Despite having fewer deaths in the last 12 months compared to South Lanarkshire, over the past five years there have been 172 fatalities in North Lanarkshire compared to 160 in the South.
Dr Adam Brodie, NHS Lanarkshire’s clinical director for addictions, said substance misuse was a complex society issue that can only be tackled through close partnership and planning arrangements between a number of agencies.
In Lanarkshire this work is undertaken by the Lanarkshire Alcohol and Drug Partnership (ADP) which is a multi-agency strategic partnership involving NHS Lanarkshire, North Lanarkshire Council, South Lanarkshire Council, Police Scotland, Scottish Ambulance Service, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Scottish Prison Service, the Voluntary Sector, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.
The Lanarkshire ADP aims to prevent drug deaths through a combination of preventative work and working directly with those who have drug addictions with a focus on rehabilitation and recovery.
LADP delivers a wide range of treatment and prevention methods provided by multi-disciplinary teams including psychiatrists, psychologists, specialist doctors, specialist pharmacists, occupational therapists, nurses, and social work professionals.
These services provide interventions such as harm reduction, counselling, therapy, treatment for depression, treatment for mental health issues and community detoxification.
Individuals are also able to access a range of services within their local community to support their recovery, which includes community-based programmes, family and peer support, as well as links to a number of housing, training and employment programmes.
The ADP is dedicated to the National Naloxone Programme which ensures that the provision of naloxone and overdose awareness training to individuals at risk of overdose, remains a local priority.”
In total there 33 deaths across North Lanarkshire, down from 38 in 2012 and 2013.
The death toll across Scotland broke the 600 barrier for the first time with 613 deaths.
More than half were either blamed or partially blamed on heroin or morphine.
Methadone, the prescribed heroin substitute, was involved in 214 cases.
Paul Wheelhouse, minister for community safety, said: “The figures published highlight that while there has been some progress in tackling problem drug use, Scotland still faces a huge challenge in tackling the damaging effects of long-term drug use among an aging cohort of individuals in Scotland. This group of individuals often have long-term, chronic health problems as a result of sustained and, in many cases, increasingly chaotic drug-use issues.”