Matheson C, Carver H, Parkes T, Daneshvar H, Schofield J, Dumbrell J, Connell C, Price T & Hnizdilova K (2022) Digital Inclusion to Prevent Drug Related Deaths: Scoping User Needs. Digital Lifelines Scotland.
First paragraph: Scotland is experiencing an ongoing public health crisis of drug-related deaths (DRD). In 2020, 1,339 DRD were recorded in Scotland, a 5% increase on 2019 figures and more than double the figure for 2008 (574) (NRS, 2021). The Scottish DRD rate is more than three times than that of the UK as a whole and is the highest in Europe. Three-quarters of DRD occur among people aged 35+ years. There is an ageing cohort of people who use drugs (PWUD) in Scotland and their vulnerability to DRD is exacerbated by the impact of many years of substance use, and often undiagnosed/poorly managed chronic health conditions e.g., Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (Matheson et al 2018).