‘Twice as many drug deaths than Covid fatalities!’ Sturgeon slammed for rise in figures

Scotland drug deaths: Favor CEO criticises government’s response

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Scotland has seen a record number of deaths for the seventh year in a row, with more than 1,300 people dying of drug misuses last year. The Ceo of FavorUK Anne Marie Ward has called on politicians to back the Right to Recovery Bill.

Speaking on BBC ScotNine on Friday, she said: “Let me put this in context for you and the general public, we’ve had twice as many drugs deaths in the under 65 age group than Covid deaths.

“Last year in the under 65 age group there was 651 days, there’s been over twice that amount for people who have died from drugs this year.”

She continued: “There have been numerous recommendations given to this government, to the UK government and governments all over Europe but for the last 10 years and we have been consistently ignored.

Read more: EU’s AstraZeneca snub backfires as other firms hike prices for VDL’s vaccine scheme

“And what we need is a change in the law, and we need the MPs in Scotland, then the MPs across the UK eventually to back the Right to Recovery Bill.

The bill would ensure everyone can have immediate access to the treatments they need.

Currently, Scotland has the worst drugs deaths toll in Europe. On Friday, Nicola Sturgeon said her government will tackle this problem, after a record of 1,339 people were killed last year.


According to the National Records of Scotland, Scotland’s rate of drug deaths is more than 3 and a half times higher than the rest of the UK.

About 93% of the deaths reported in 2020 were as a result of accidental overdoses, while 4% were thought to be deliberate self-poisoning.

Sturgeon said on Twitter: “The number of lives lost to drugs is unacceptable, each one a human tragedy. @scotgov does not shirk the responsibility and we are determined to make changes that will save lives.

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“Today, my thoughts are with every family who has lost a loved one – I am sorry for the loss you have suffered. However, I know [that] what is required isn’t words, but action to prevent people dying, and that is what we are determined to deliver.”

Annie Wells, Glasgow Conservative MSP and party health spokeswoman, said: “Our Right to Recovery Bill has been developed with frontline experts and we are encouraged that it is gaining such widespread support.

“We now need the SNP Government to stop stalling and support this bill. Every delay costs lives.”
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