A ‘Perfect Storm’ Has Led to a Spike in Drug Deaths in Scotland

A ‘Perfect Storm’ Has Led to a Spike in Drug Deaths in Scotland
Drugs and drug paraphernalia in Belfast, Northern Ireland, March 28, 2004 (Photo by Paul Faith for Press Association via AP Images).

Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing series about national drug policies in various countries around the world.

Scotland is in the throes of a devastating drug crisis. Data released this past summer showed that the number of drug-related deaths in 2018 spiked to nearly 1,200—a 27 percent increase over the previous year. Scotland’s drug-related fatality rate is three times higher than that of England and Wales, and is now on par with that of the United States on a per capita basis, according to The Guardian. In an interview, Catriona Matheson, professor in substance use at the University of Stirling in Scotland, discusses the myriad factors that are causing the epidemic and what authorities at various levels of government are doing to address it.

World Politics Review: Why has the crisis of drug-related deaths gotten so bad in Scotland? Why is the fatality rate in Scotland so much higher than in the rest of the United Kingdom?

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.