Decrease in drug-related deaths

Annual figures published by National Records of Scotland show a decrease in drug-related deaths in 2022.

Phillip Heaton, Lead Officer, Falkirk Alcohol and Drug Partnership, said: “Communities across Scotland know that every life lost is tragic, and that if we provide a strong support network for families and individuals, we can prevent further heartbreak.

“We’re working together with the recovery community and colleagues from across Falkirk to tackle stigma and provide a mix of crisis, recovery, and residential support options which meet the individual needs of people affected by drug and alcohol use.

“By making services as accessible as possible and fostering an understanding and supportive culture, we hope that together we can stop preventable drug deaths within our communities.”

If you, a friend, or family member are worried about the effects of using drugs or alcohol, visit the Falkirk Alcohol and Drug Partnership webpages at for information about local support and advice.

Summarising the data, Julie Ramsay, Head of Demographic Statistics at National Records of Scotland, said: “While drug misuse deaths have been rising over the last two decades, with a particularly sharp increase after 2013, today’s statistics show the biggest year on year decrease since the series began. The statistics provide some insight into the people who are most likely to die from drug misuse.

“Those living in the most deprived areas of Scotland are almost 16 times as likely to die from drug misuse compared to people living in the least deprived areas. Males are twice as likely to die from drug misuse than females, however the fall in deaths in 2022 was much larger for males than for females.

“The age profile of drug misuse deaths has become older over time, the average age of people who died from drug misuse deaths has increased from 32 in 2000 to 45 in 2022.”


The statistics show 1,051 people died in Scotland due to drug misuse in 2022, a decrease of 279 deaths across Scotland – the lowest number of drug misuse deaths since 2017.

In Falkirk, 23 people died to drug misuse in 2022, a decrease of 15 deaths compared to 2021, which is the lowest number of drug misuse deaths in Falkirk since 2015.