Drug deaths in Glasgow have reached a new record high, the latest figures show.

Scotland’s shocking drug death toll continues as the number of people who died last year is released.

In Glasgow, the number of deaths increased to a record high breaking through 300 for the first time.

There were 1330 drug related deaths in Scotland 2021, down by nine from the previous year, when 1339 people lost their lives.

It is the second highest annual total on record.

It means people are still dying at a rate of three a day.

In Glasgow the number of people who died was 311.

It is an increase of 20 from the previous year when 291 died.

Dundee City had the highest age-standardised drug misuse death rate of all local authority areas, at 45.2 per 100,000 population, followed by Glasgow City, 44.4, and Inverclyde, 35.7.

Julie Ramsay, Vital Events Statistician at National Records of Scotland, said: “Drug misuse deaths have increased substantially over the past few decades – there were more than five times as many deaths in 2021 compared with 1996. 2021 is the first year since 2013 that drug misuse deaths have not increased.

“In 2021, after adjusting for age, people in the most deprived areas were more than 15 times as likely to have a drug misuse death as those in the least deprived areas. This ratio has widened over the past two decades.”

After previous years showed record numbers of deaths the Scottish Government committed to taking action to reduce the deaths.

READ MORE: Scotland's drug deaths crisis: 'People deserve the legal right to treatment'

Nicola Sturgeon admitted the government had “taken its eye off the ball” in relation to drug deaths in previous years, when alcohol and drug budgets had been cut as deaths increased.

Glasgow Times:

She said it would be a national mission to tackle the crisis and appointed a drug policy minister, Angela Constance, and set up a drug death task force to make recommendations.

READ MORE: 'Cheap drugs leading to Glasgow's high drug deaths rate', warns health expert

Constance said the latest figures are "unacceptable" and work will continue to address the emergency.

Drug recovery groups said the country’s drug death record was “abysmal” and more treatment services is the answer.

Annemarie ward, Chief Executive of Faces and Voices of Recovery said: “People seeking treatment shouldn’t have time to wait months or in some cases years for answers, too many already die begging for their lives.”

Glasgow Times:

Opposition politicians said the latest figures were a tragedy.

Claire Baker, Scottish Labour’s drug policy spokesperson, said: “Every single drug-related death is preventable, and each one is a tragedy.  
“The Scottish Government need to respond to the recommendations of the Scottish Drug Death Taskforce and deliver the meaningful change we desperately need, including investing in services and finally delivering the MAT standards.”

Sandesh Gulhane, Scottish Conservative health spokesperson, said: “These figures mean Scotland has not just the worst death rate per head of population in Europe – but the worst by such an enormous margin that it’s hard to get your head around.

“The Scottish Conservatives’ Right to Recovery Bill can be a game-changer because it will enshrine in law the right of everyone with addiction problems to receive the potentially life-saving treatment they need.”