Drug deaths in Scotland down as Dumfries and Galloway above the national average

There were 37 drug deaths in Dumfries and Galloway in 2022. Credit: ITV

The number of drug deaths in Dumfries and Galloway has increased and is above the national average.

37 fatalities were recorded in the area in 2022 - up from 35 the year before. This is against the trend of the national trend across Scotland where deaths have fallen to an average of 33.

The Scottish Borders is less than the national average with 13 drug deaths in 2022.

Between 2018-2022 there were 25 drug deaths per 100,000 people in Dumfries and Galloway, more than the 23 drug deaths per 100,000 people for the national average in Scotland.

In the Scottish Borders in the same period there were 18 drug deaths per 100,000 people.

The most common drug death was as a result of opiates/opioids with 867 deaths. There were 601 deaths from benzodiazepines and 371 from cocaine.

In 2022 89% of drug deaths were classified as accidental poisoning. The figure in Scotland is 2.7 times as higher than the UK average.

Scotland's drugs and alcohol policy ninister Elena Whitham MSP said: "My sympathy goes out to all those affected by the loss of a loved one through drugs.

"While I am pleased to see that hundreds of families have been spared this agony and lives have been saved, every life lost is a tragedy and the number of deaths is still too high.

"I will never underestimate the scale of the challenge we continue to face, including responding to new threats such as synthetic opioids and stimulant use.

"I can see that our work across Scotland, where we have already supported 300 grass-roots projects, including 'Back on the Road', is gathering pace, and I'm grateful to all those delivering vital services."

In Scotland despite the fall compared to 2021 there were 3.7 times as many drug deaths in 2022 than there were in 2000.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...