Suspected drug deaths in Scotland: April to June 2022

This quarterly report presents Police Scotland management information to provide an indication of current trends in suspected drug deaths in Scotland.

This document is part of a collection

3. Main Points

Figure 1: Number of Police Scotland suspected drug deaths by calendar year quarter (Scotland, January 2017 to June 2022)
Bar chart showing the number of suspected drug deaths each calendar year quarter with line graph showing rolling annual suspected drug death (sum of latest 4 quarters). Bars show numbers of suspected drug deaths have been at a similar level for the last four quarters. Line shows recent downward trend in rolling 12-month suspected drug deaths.

During the first six months of 2022:

  • There were 562 suspected drug deaths, 22% (160) lower than during the same period of 2021;
  • Males accounted for 69% of suspected drug deaths. This compares with 72% between January and June 2021;
  • There were 173 suspected drug deaths of females, a decrease of 15% (30) compared to the same period in 2021;
  • A majority (64%) of suspected drug deaths were of people aged between 35 and 54. This is broadly in line with previous quarters;
  • There were 31 suspected drug deaths in the under 25 age group, 11% (4) fewer than between January and June 2021;
  • The Police Divisions with the greatest number of suspected drug deaths were: Greater Glasgow (103), Edinburgh City (70) and Lanarkshire (57).

For quarter 2, April to June 2022:

  • There were 277 suspected drug deaths during the period April to June 2022, 3% (8) fewer than the previous calendar quarter (January to March 2022), and 16% (52) fewer than the same calendar quarter in the previous year (April to June 2021).

Note that numbers of suspected drug deaths fluctuate from quarter to quarter. Care should be taken not to interpret movements between individual calendar quarters as indicative of any long term trend.

There were 1,135 suspected drug deaths over the 12 months to June 2022, 19% (267) fewer than the 12 months to June 2021.

More detail on the statistics presented above is available in the workbook published alongside this report.



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