Drug deaths are down on national average
THERE were six deaths related to drugs in Clackmannanshire last year, according to the latest figures.
The figure is higher than the last five-year average but proportionally lower than the Scottish average.
In total there were 26 drug-related deaths in NHS Forth Valley - including nine in Stirling.
The majority of drug users that died in the county were on Methadone - with some also taking benzodiazepine, diazepam and amphetamines.
The figures were released as the Scottish Government committed its support to the recovery of those affected by drug addiction.
Roseanna Cunningham, Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, said, "It is this Government's firm belief that recovery from serious drug addiction is possible. The Road to Recovery - the Scottish Government's national drugs strategy unanimously endorsed and reaffirmed by the Scottish Parliament - aims to address the distressing legacy of decades of drugs misuse, the product of which is brought sharply in to focus with today drug-related death figures."
According to the official figures, of the deaths in Clackmannanshire, five were classified as "undertermined intent" and one was due to "accidental poisoning" under new ways to classify the deaths. Under the old classification, all six would have been due to "drug abuse".
The average number of deaths per 1000 population in the county from 2007-2011 was more than the Scottish average in 15-24 year-olds and 25-34 year-olds but lower as a whole for 15-64 year-olds.
The Scottish government has invested £28.6 million in front-line drug treatment and recovery services in 2012/13.
Across Forth Valley, Signpost Recovery provides support for those trying to kick alcohol and drug addiction.
Ms Cunningham went on, "Scotland is leading the way in recovery and developing innovative ways of supporting hard to reach groups in to recovery. We have been rolling out a national programme, within communities, health boards and the Scottish Prison Service, to supply naloxone kits and training to those at risk of an opiate overdose. Naloxone can and does save lives and offers a second chance of recovery. As with tackling the legacy of drug misuse, the impact of the rollout of naloxone will take time to have a sustainable and long-term impact on drug-related deaths in Scotland."
This article appeared in Alloa & Hillfoots Advertiser 29 Aug 12
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