DRUG deaths in Scotland have hit record levels once again.

Shocking new government statistics show that 1,187 people died last year from drugs.

The figures are the highest-ever recorded breaking through the 1,000 barrier for Scotland for the first time.

It is an increase from 934 deaths in 2017 and the fifth consecutive annual rise since 2013.

Joe Fitzpatrick, Public Health Minister, said it requires a public health approach.

TIMES SAYS: Record drugs deaths need urgent action from every level of government

He said: “The number of people who have lost their lives because of drug use is shocking.

“It is vital this tragedy is treated as a public health issue, and we are prepared to take innovative and bold measures in order to save the lives of those most at risk.

“Last week, I gave evidence to the Scottish Affairs Committee and I asked for help in persuading the UK Government to either act now to enable us to implement a range of public health-focused responses - including the introduction of supervised drug consumption facilities - or devolve the power to the Scottish Parliament so that we can act.”

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The Evening Times has called for an Emergency Drug Deaths Summit to be held in Glasgow which has the highest number of deaths.

We have written to senior members of the UK Government, Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council to organise a top-level meeting to discuss what actions can be taken to prevent these deaths.