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Statistics reveal extent of drug deaths in Scotland

Drug and drink-related deaths in Scotland have reached record levels*, with cases relating to methadone making up almost half the figure. There were 584 recorded deaths in 2011 - up 99 on the previous year and a 76% increase on 2001.

A total of 36% of deaths were among 35 to 44 year olds, with people aged 24 to 34 involved in 32% of cases. Men accounted for 73%, but the increase in the number of drug-related deaths was greater for women - at 117%.

Dr Alex Yellowlees, Consultant Psychiatrist and addiction specialist at Priory Hospital Glasgow, said: "Illegal drug addiction, for example addiction to cocaine, marijuana and heroin can be very destructive. A drug that gives a pleasant experience can make people want to take more drugs, leading to 'psychological dependence'. If an individual feels physically unwell unless they take drugs, then they could well be suffering from 'physical dependence'. Drug rehabilitation and counselling can help to relieve these dependency issues.

“Addiction to illegal drugs can cause serious problems to mental and physical health, as well as being behind a number of wider social issues. Drug abuse treatment can consist of medically assisted withdrawal and detox, together with counselling sessions aimed at reducing dependency and rehabilitating the drug user.”

If you find that you cannot stop yourself from regularly taking a drug, even when you know it is harmful, you have a clear symptom that you are dependent on it. If you have become physically addicted, you will suffer withdrawal symptoms including:

  • Nausea (sickness)
  • Sweating
  • Diarrhoea
  • Shaking

If you've become psychologically dependent, withdrawal can make you feel irritable, depressed or tired.

If you are already thinking about treatment for your drug addiction, then you have admitted that you have a problem and need help, which is a significant first step. Our nationwide network of specialist consultants and therapists have helped thousands of people to overcome their drug addiction successfully.

Detox and psychotherapy are among the options used to treat drug dependency. Abstinence is the main goal of treatment, although some people find this difficult to achieve.

If you're physically addicted to a drug, the first step in treatment is a medically assisted withdrawal detox, supported by medication. At Priory Hospital Glasgow, our personalised treatment programmes include a FREE ADDICTION ASSESSMENT as well as 12 months of aftercare and family support. Abstinence can be a long and difficult journey, but by using the 12-Step model of recovery and a comprehensive support network, we have demonstrated that treatment can work.

Addiction specialists at Priory Hospital Glasgow will encourage you to identify your drug dependency, then help you to manage these problems with new ways of coping through building self-esteem and positive attitudes.

Anyone worried about their drug taking habits should seek advice and support from their GP in the first instance. If necessary, GPs can refer you to Priory Hospital Glasgow for further assessment and help. Alternatively, speak to one of our team about referring yourself.

*National Records for Scotland published August 2012

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