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  1. ITV Report

Drug-related deaths double in Scotland

Males between the age of 35 to 44 were the age group most affected Photo: PA

New figures have shown there were 827 drug-related deaths in Scotland in 2016.

That's an increase of almost a quarter of the year before and double the amount of deaths in the past decade.

The Scottish Government are now urged to think of a new drugs strategy to tackle the issue.

Methadone, the substance prescribed by the NHS to help addicts off heroin, was involved in 42% of the deaths.

Legal highs, or new psychoactive substances, were present in 286 of the deaths recorded last year.

Males between the age of 35 to 44 were the age group most affected.

The shadow health secretary says the government's attempt to 'refresh' drugs strategy last month is not enough:

These figures are nothing short of appalling. Every year hundreds of lives in Scotland are being wasted because of a drugs culture that’s been allowed to escalate out of control.

People will be stunned that the death rate here is more than twice that of the rest of the UK, and that poses some extremely tough questions for the Scottish Government.

– Miles Briggs, Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary