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Drug misuse statistics Scotland 2011.

Substance Misuse Programme, Information Services Division, NHS National Services Scotland.
NHS National Services Scotland, 2012.

Statistical picture of drug misuse in Scotland in 2010/11 including treatment and criminal justice caseloads and health impacts, plus trends over recent years.

Summary This annual publication presents the latest available information from a range of national data sources relevant to drug misuse in four main sections:
Services and treatment for drug misusers Information on individuals presenting to drug treatment services and prescription statistics.
Health impact of drug misuse Includes information on general practice consultations, maternity and neonatal information, blood-borne viruses and drug-related deaths in Scotland.
Criminal justice and social harm This section includes information on drug-related offences and court proceedings, criminal justice social work, drug misuse and treatment in Scottish prisons and social harm in neighbourhoods.
Prevalence of drug misuse Includes information from national surveys on reported drug use and research studies on prevalence.

Selected statistics

• In 2010/11, 10,813 drug users were reported to the Scottish Drug Misuse Database as newly in contact with drug treatment services, which equates to a 219 per 100,000 of the Scottish population compared to 240 in the previous year. In the three years before that the total had been well over 12,000. In 2006/07, 51% were aged 30 and over, rising to 60% by 2010/11.
• 62% said that a year or more had elapsed between their perception that they had a drug problem and treatment being sought.
• 67% were unemployed and 70% said their drug use was funded by benefits; 12% were homeless.
• Nearly two thirds used heroin but just 24% (down from 28% in 2006/07) had injected any drug in the previous month.
• 7% said they currently shared needles/syringes, down from 12% in 2006/07.
• In 2010/11 there were 533,733 prescriptions for methadone oral solution. Prescribing rates have risen over the last five years, from 115 per 1,000 of the population aged 15 and over in 2006/07 to 122 in 2010/11.
• In the most deprived areas, there were over seven times more GP consultations for drug problems per 1000 of the practice population than in the most affluent areas, a differential not seen for non-drug misuse consultations.
• The total number of persons newly diagnosed with hepatitis C infection ranged from 1533 to 1634 during 2006 to 2008, but increased to 2032 in 2009 and 2125 in 2010. Of these, the number of drug injectors reached 1034 in 2010, rising from 736 in 2008 and 910 in 2009; unknown source infections probably mean the rise was even steeper.
• Reports of HIV infection in injectors fluctuated, falling for three years from 28 in 2005 to 11 in 2007, before rising to 19 in 2008, falling slightly to 17 in 2009, and ending in 2010 at 20.
• The number of drug-related deaths fell to 485 in 2010 from 545 in the previous year, having increased from 292 in year 2000.
• In 2010, heroin/morphine was reported as implicated in, or potentially contributing to, 52% of the deaths, methadone 36%, alcohol 26% and benzodiazepines 25%; deaths actually or potentially related to heroin/morphine, benzodiazepines and alcohol were markedly fewer than in 2008 and 2009.
• In 2010/11, 661 drug treatment and testing orders (DTTOs – a sentence involving regular testing for drug use allied with treatment, normally as an alternative to imprisonment of drug using offenders) were started, down from 752 in 2008/09. Also there were 498 probation orders with a condition of drug treatment/education.
• In past years the proportion of DTTOs terminated upon successful completion has remained relatively stable, varying from 38% in 2004/05 to 40% in 2008/09, but this figure rose to 45% in 2010/11.
• Of the 1343 addiction prevalence tests carried out on entry to prison, 73% were positive for illicit drug use, including illegal use of prescribed drugs, up from 56% the previous year. Of the 735 tests carried out at prisoner release, 17% were positive, the same as the previous year.
• 21% of respondents to the 2010 prison survey reported use of illegal drugs in prison in the previous month, about the same as the previous year.
• On a single day in December 2005, 16% of the prison population were being prescribed methadone; by 2010 this had increased to 22%.
• The proportions of local survey respondents who said that drug misuse or dealing was "very or fairly common" in their neighbourhoods remained stable (12–13%) between 2005 and 2009 but fell slightly to 11% in 2010; over these years the proportion with personal local experience of drug misuse or dealing was stable at 5–6%.
• These figures varied by deprivation. In the most deprived areas, 27% of respondents felt drug misuse or dealing was "very or fairly common" locally but just 2% in the least deprived. Similarly, 12% in the most deprived areas said they had personal experience of drug misuse or dealing locally compared to 1% in the least deprived.
• As detailed in another report, the estimated number of individuals with problem drug use (routine and prolonged problematic use of opiates and/or illicit use of benzodiazepines) in 2009/10 was 59,600, up from 55,300 in 2006.

Last revised 11 February 2013. First uploaded 11 February 2013

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