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Drugs and drug paraphernalia. Drugs and drug paraphernalia in Belfast, Northern Ireland, March 28, 2004 (Photo by Paul Faith for Press Association via AP Images).

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

Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019

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. ...

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