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Drug deaths on the rise in the Highlands according to new statistics


By Ali Morrison

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A heroin addict prepares to have a hit.
A heroin addict prepares to have a hit.

The number of people who died of drug misuse in the Highlands rose last year, according to new figures.

A total of 35 drug deaths were recorded compared with 33 in 2020.

Last year’s figure is just one short of the regional record in 2018 when there were 36 drug-related deaths.

In neighbouring Moray, there were 17 recorded drug deaths in 2021.

The figure – up from 10 the previous year – equals its record of 2018.

The statistics released by the National Records for Scotland (NRS) show a slight drop of nine drug deaths across Scotland last year from the previous year – 1330 compared with 1339.

It was the first time the figure has been down in eight years.

However, Scotland continues to have by far the highest drug death rate recorded by any country in Europe.


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