Suspected drug deaths in Scotland: April to June 2023

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

3. Main points

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). Chart shows an increasing trend in the rolling annual total suspected drug deaths from October to December 2017, reaching a peak in October to December 2020 before following a decreasing trend from early 2021 to July to September 2022, then flattening out over the three most recent calendar quarters.

Between January and June 2023:

  • There were 600 suspected drug deaths, 7% (38) higher than during the same period of 2022.
  • Males accounted for 72% of suspected drug deaths. This compares with 69% between January and June 2022.
  • There were 171 suspected drug deaths of females, 1% (2) fewer than between January and June 2022.
  • A majority (67%) of suspected drug deaths were of people aged between 35 and 54 years. This is broadly in line with previous quarters.
  • There were 26 suspected drug deaths in the under 25 age group, 16% (5) fewer than between January and June 2022.
  • The Police Divisions with the greatest number of suspected drug deaths were: Greater Glasgow (143), Lanarkshire (76) and Edinburgh City (73).

For the calendar quarter April to June 2023:

  • There were 302 suspected drug deaths during the period, 1% (4) more than the previous calendar quarter (January to March 2023) and 9% (25) more than during the same calendar quarter in the previous year (April to June 2022).

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 1,130 suspected drug deaths over the 12 months to June 2023, 0.4% (5) fewer than over the 12 months to June 2022.

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



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