Aug 22 2012 By Joe McGuire
drugs syringe methadone Image 2
DRUG deaths in Glasgow rose by almost 15 per cent last year.
There were 192 drug-related deaths in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area in 2011 – up by 25 on the previous year, a 14.9 per cent increase.
In total, there were 584 deaths attributed to drugs across Scotland — the highest total ever recorded,
and 20 per cent more than the previous year’s figure of 485.
Although there was a significant rise in cases in the Greater Glasgow area, the death toll did not reach the record high of 200, set in 2009.
According to the figures, one in every 100 deaths last year was linked to drugs.
The statistics, published by the Registrar General, also showed a big rise in the number of deaths where the heroin substitute methadone had been taken.
Community safety minister Roseanna Cunningham said every drugs-related death was a “tragedy” and pledged that the Scottish Government would continue work to tackle the problem.
She said: “Scotland has a legacy of drug misuse that stretches back decades, creating this upward 10-year trend in drug-related deaths.
“Many of those lost to us are older drug users who, after years, have become increasingly unwell.
“No government has done more to address the legacy, and while it will take time to tackle this tragedy, we will do that through continuing to invest and support the recovery of those affected by drugs in
Methadone potentially contributed to 47 per cent of all drug deaths, a figure that has sparked an investigation by our sister paper the Daily Record.
It has exposed the Scottish Government as the country’s biggest drug dealer, spending £36million
a year keeping drug addicts supplied with the heroin substitute – a figure NHS Scotland tried to keep hidden.
Many Glasgow addicts confirmed fears methadone did nothing to wean them off drugs, as many
openly admitted to using methadone and heroin – a combination that has resulted in hundreds of drug deaths.
Vera Rooney, 46, from Possilpark, said: “You get your methadone in the morning and then take smack later on if you can get the money for it.
“Everyone is taking both. I’d like to stop taking methadone and heroin but you don’t get the chance.
“I’ve never been given any help to beat the addiction.
“The only thing I’ve been given is methadone.”