Press release: Drug-related deaths in South Lanarkshire

August 1, 2022

Central Scotland MSP Monica Lennon has called for an overhaul of drug addiction services in South Lanarkshire after an alarming rise in deaths in the area.

Statistics released by the National Records of Scotland [1] on June 28 confirmed there were 101 drug-related deaths in South Lanarkshire in 2021 – 10 more than in 2020 [2].

In 2019, the area recorded 68 deaths by drug misuse [3] – a 48.5% increase in just three years.

By comparison, North Lanarkshire recorded 80 drug-related deaths in 2021, 94 in 2020 and 95 in 2019 – a 15% reduction over the same period.

Across Scotland as a whole, 1,330 people lost their lives to drug misuse in 2021, just 1% lower than in 2020.

Scottish Labour and Co-operative MSP, Monica Lennon, said:

“Every single drug death is tragic, heart-breaking and preventable. My thoughts are with the family and friends of those who have lost a loved one. We must always remember the people behind these grim statistics.

“The figures released by the National Records of Scotland make tough reading for South Lanarkshire, where there has been almost a 50% increase in drug-related deaths in just three years.

“Even in North Lanarkshire, where there has been a small decrease in drug-related fatalities, far too many people are losing their lives.

“SNP ministers claim this national emergency is being treated with urgency through its ‘National Mission’ but people that I represent in Lanarkshire don’t feel the right help is available at the right time.

“The Scottish Government can and must do better to support people access the treatment and recovery services that are right for them. I have given my backing to proposals for Right to Recovery legislation, as people affected by substance misuse cannot keep being left to die.

“This needs all parties in the Scottish Parliament to work together, and as Convenor of the Cross-Party Group on Drug and Alcohol Misuse I am fully committed to helping to find solutions.”


Notes to Editor –