Scots families mourn those who have lost lives to drugs

On International Overdose Awareness Day there is little sign the problem is on the wane.

Families across Scotland have been mourning those who have died after overdosing on drugs.

However, on International Overdose Awareness Day, there is little sign that the problem is on the wane.

Gaynor Donaldson is still grieving for her brother Greg who passed away five years ago.

“It was like someone had thrown a bomb into my room when the police came to tell me,” she said.

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“I’m one of the many families in Dundee that has experienced this and to endure having to try and get on with their lives again.”

Greg had actually been in recovery for six years when his life was impacted by personal problems.

“Unfortunately, he took that choice again, he took that road again, not knowing anything else,” said Gaynor.

Families gathered at the Addaction Support Group in Dundee today to commemorate those who’ve died.

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Last month a report revealed that Dundee had overtaken Glasgow as having the worst death rate in Scotland, a country which eclipses all other EU nations for fatal overdoses.

There were 160 narcotics deaths in Tayside and Fife in 2017, according to official figures published by the National Records of Scotland.

The number of deaths in Scotland is “higher than those reported for all the EU countries” and about two-and-a-half times the UK level, the report said.

Heroin or morphine was implicated in two-thirds of the deaths in Tayside, the highest proportion in Scotland.

The sleeping pill benzodiazepine was a likely contributor to 69% of the Tayside fatalities, again the highest in the country.

Across Scotland, there were 934 drugs deaths last year, which is up 8% on the previous year.

Catch the full report here on the STV News at Six tonight.


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