More people suffered drug-related deaths in Shetland last year than at any other time since 2014.
The National Records of Scotland’s annual report, published today (Friday), states that four people lost their lives in Shetland due to drugs in 2020.
The figure was twice the number recorded in 2019 and the joint highest total since 2010.
Opioids, including heroin, were reported as a factor in three of the deaths; benzodiazepines or “street Valium” was implicated in one.
Averages for the 2016-20 period show Shetland’s rate of drugs deaths proportionate to the overall population was the second lowest in Scotland.
When broken down into age groupings, however, Shetland has the nation’s highest rate of fatalities in the 55-64 group.
Across Scotland last year, there were were 1,339 drug-related deaths registered – five per cent more than in 2019 and the largest number since records began in 1996.
Scotland continues to have the highest drug death rate of any country in Europe.
Anyone looking for support locally can contact their GP or the Substance Misuse Recovery Service, situated in the mental health department at the Lerwick Health Centre on 01595 743006.