Drug related deaths in Renfrewshire have hit 50 – the highest since records began in 1996.
Last year 50 people died as a result of drug taking, an increase from 38 in 2017.
Renfrewshire is the eighth highest local authority in Scotland with high records. Heroin, other opioids and Etizolam, also known as street Valium, were found in people’s systems at the time of their deaths in Renfrewshire.
In East Renfrewshire there were 11 deaths, this is up by 7. There were 4 deaths recorded in 2017.
The statistics were published by National Records of Scotland and show that Scotland, as a whole, increased to 1,187, 27% higher than the previous year.
Councillor Jacqueline Cameron, chair of the Renfrewshire Community Planning Partnership’s Alcohol and Drugs Commission, said: “We recognise the impact that drug use can have on the lives of families and their loved ones, as the loss of one person can be devastating for everyone involved.
“This is a public health issue faced across the country, but through our Alcohol and Drugs Commission, one of the first of its kind in Scotland, we will assess the true impact of drug and alcohol use in Renfrewshire and identify ways in which we can improve the lives of those affected.
“Partners from across health and social care, housing, justice, third sector and higher education will gather information and hear from people with lived experience as we work together to find solutions.
“The commission’s focus will be wider than treatment services, but also prevention, early intervention and all other forms of support to aid recovery.
“We’re committed to improving outcomes for our residents and the recommendations of the commission will be brought forward with the desire to improve the life chances of local people within our communities in Renfrewshire.”