GR Direct - Sony - Save up to £300 on selected Bravia OLED & LED TVs
Monday 27 May 2024
 11.9°C   S Gentle Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Health / MSP on drug death figure: ‘every statistic is an individual tragically lost to their families and loved ones’

Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart. Photo: Shetland News

FOUR drug-related deaths were recorded in Shetland last year – an increase of two from 2019.

Two were ruled as accidental poisoning and the other two were coded as “undetermined intent”.

Opiates or opioid were implicated in three of the drug-related deaths.

Last year’s figure was the highest since four were recorded in 2014.

New data from National Records of Scotland released today (Friday) show that across Scotland that more 1,300 people died of drug misuse in Scotland last year.

It is the seventh year in a row that Scotland has registered a record number of drug-related deaths.

Scotland continues to have the highest drug-death rate in Europe.

Local MSP Beatrice Wishart told Shetland News it is “important to remember that every statistic is an individual tragically lost to their families and loved ones”.

“There should be no stigma attached to anyone who has or is experiencing drug and/or alcohol addiction, but it is hard to get the support and treatment needed when budgets to critical support services have been cut,” she said.

“Nationally the statistics for drug-related deaths shame the Scottish Government.”

Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant meanwhile said “no part of society is free from the plague of drugs – from the sleepiest village to the busiest of cities”.

“They devastate individuals and with that family and friends,” she said.

“For too long services have been underfunded. Savage cuts made in the last decade are reflected in these figures.

“We need facilities to support those who fall victim but we also need to create opportunities that provide an alternative route to divert those who otherwise will fall victim.”

The Scottish Government has announced that £250 million will be spent on addressing the emergency over the next five years.

Drugs policy minister Angela Constable said the statistics on drug-related deaths are “heartbreaking”.

Become a supporter of Shetland News


“We are working hard to get more people into the treatment that works for them as quickly as possible,” she said.

“Without treatment, there is little hope of recovery so we are funding as many community and third sector initiatives as we can so that individuals have the widest possible choice and can opt for the support which suits them and their family.”

Shetland’s substance misuse recovery service can be contacted on 01595 743006. The Recovery Hub and Community Network in Lerwick’s Pitt Lane can also be reached on 01595 744402, while anyone needing help is also encouraged to get in touch with their GP.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.