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Drugs and Alcohol - Prevalence of Problem Drug Users

High Level Summary of Statistics Trend Last update: Thursday, September 15, 2011

Prevalence of Problem Drug Users

There were an estimated 59,600 individuals with problem drug use in Scotland in 2009-10, corresponding to a rate of 1.71% of the population aged 15 to 64.

This represents an increase in estimated numbers of over 4,000 since the last available estimates, which estimated that in 2006, there were around 55,300 individuals with problem drug use.

Although the prevalence rate of problem drug use in Scotland amongst individuals aged between 15 and 64 years has increased from 1.62% of the population in 2006 to 1.71% in these latest estimates, it cannot be said conclusively that actual prevalence has increased. However, the report authors note that they can be reasonably sure that the prevalence of problem drug use has not declined since 2006.

The Scottish Government has established a National Indicator on Scotland Performs to decrease the estimated number of individuals with problem drug use.

Drugs Prevalence

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Source: Estimating the National and Local Prevalence of Problem Drug Use in Scotland (2000, 2003, 2006 and 2009-10 estimates)

Notes: a) The age range was changed for the 2006 and 2009-10 estimates to bring them in line with European statistical requirements and to assist in making UK and international comparisons; and b) The 2009/10 estimates are for financial year, whilst the 2000, 2003 and 2006 estimates were for calendar year. The change to financial year was made to bring the estimates in line with other available information sources on drugs (eg Scottish Crime and Justice Survey and Scottish Drug Misuse Database) and also to align them with the reporting format of the other UK administrations.

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