Drug Deaths in Scotland Higher Than in the EU

Scotland’s mortality rate has seen yet another rise due to the misuse of opiates across the country.

With a 27% rise in just one year, Scotland’s drug death rate is now 50 times Portugal’s and even higher than that of the United States.

With figure this large, it is important to recognise the danger of drugs such as opiates and how to help those with an addiction.

Why are Scotland experiencing heightened drug deaths?

Drug deaths in Scotland have seen a dramatic rise in the past year with a 27% increase in deaths compared to the previous year.

With alcohol causing 1,136 deaths across the country, drug related deaths have now exceeded this figuring, putting even more pressure for something to be done for those suffering from addictions.

Living with someone with addiction - loved ones

One of the main reasons there has been such as dramatic increase of drug deaths in Scotland is due to their being a larger amount of problem users across the country. There are estimated to be around 60,000 problem users within Scotland and with access to a wide range of substances, users are mixing different drugs in order to reach their desired effect.

Drugs such as heroin and pills such as street Valium are being mixed together and in turn creating a lethal concoction dangerous to anyone. It has been found that the majority of addicts, who are mainly male, have been using drugs such as heroin for decades and are now adding street pills into their daily doses.

Long term effects of drug addiction

Over time, drug users will experience psychological and physical effects due to their substance abuse. All of these effects are extremely damaging to a persona and some can even be irreversible.

It is commonly known that drugs are one of the causes of serious mental illnesses. This can have detrimental effects on an individual especially if the mental illness isn’t identified and monitor. Some common mental health issues caused by drug abuse including:



Due to drugs altering an individual’s brain, it is very common for one to experience feelings of depression when consuming a substance.

Due to changes in the brain, individuals’ moods fluctuate and in turn, could trigger pre-existing depression.

Long Term Effects of Drug Addiction

Paranoia: Another common effect of drugs is paranoia. Paranoia is the persistent feeling that someone is ‘out to get you’. Those who abuse drugs may experience paranoia in that they need to lie about their drug use in the fear of getting caught by friend or family.

Anxiety: Substance abuse has been linked to panic disorders such as anxiety due to the alterations it makes within the brain. Due to sensitisation, drug users need less of the substance in order to experience feelings such as anxiety and stress. This means as users increased their dosage, there is more probability of them experience these feelings.


As well as mental health issues, drug users also may experience physical impacts due to prolonged drug use. The National Institute of Drug Abuse have suggested long term drug abuse can affect the following:

The heart: Using drugs overtime can cause cardiovascular issues which can be caused by increased blood pressure and heart rate. Those who inject their drug are also at risk from bacterial infections and collapsed veins.

The kidneys: Abusing some drugs can cause muscles to breakdown, the body to de-hydrate and the overall body temperature to rise. This can then cause damage to the kidneys over time and in some circumstances fail.

The lungs: When smoking or inhaling drugs, the respiratory system can experience damage related to drug use. With prolonged use, this can cause conditions such as asthma to worsen and the overall health of the lungs to decrease.

Drug Rehab

At New Leaf Recovery, we are an alcohol and drug rehabilitation centre based in Birmingham. Our main aim is to help those with addictions free themselves and return to a healthy lifestyle free from alcohol and drug abuse.

Although we are based in Birmingham, we provide our unique rehabilitation programmes to any individual across the UK. Our fully equipped residential rehabilitation centres are ideal for those looking to change their lifestyle and with the support from our recovery advisors, we can help you achieve this.

Whether you live in Scotland or Birmingham, we are here to help your friend, family member or yourself. For more information on our alcohol and drug rehab, you can call 0300 999 0330 or can complete our online contact form below.