It has been a very depressing two weeks for statistics in Glasgow and Scotland.

Last week we had the latest drug death report which showed people still dying in huge numbers.

This week the grim news continued with fresh data on alcohol-specific deaths and homelessness.

A triple-whammy of despair.

Glasgow has more than its fair share of all three and they are not unconnected.

We don’t need to go into the exact numbers again, they have been well-documented in the Glasgow Times and elsewhere.

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Statisticians and politicians can get tangled up in how much numbers are up or down, and if they are down credit will be claimed and if they are up others will be blamed.

The facts of all three are, there are too many people dying as a result of drug addiction, there are too many people dying because of excessive alcohol consumption and too many people are homeless.

And it is obvious that not enough action is being taken to help those suffering and in some cases what is being done is not working.

On homelessness, there are more people and children in temporary accommodation and more people in B&Bs.

The Glasgow Times reported the case of a man who was told four nights in a row that there was no emergency accommodation available.

He walked the streets and sheltered in a car park only to be told again, each night “there is no accommodation available”.

Astonishingly, the housing minister, Paul McLennan, was yards away, on an official visit, when the man was refused over the phone at 8.30pm.

When informed of the man’s plight, the minister said he couldn’t do anything until Monday morning.

So, when we are told by politicians they are doing all they can to prevent homelessness, we should add ‘in between the hours of 9 to 5 Monday to Friday’.

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The visibility of homeless people sleeping rough in the city centre has also increased this summer.

Drug deaths did fall but still more than 1000 people died in the last year.

The drug and alcohol policy minister Elena Whitham claimed the “tide is turning” on drug deaths on a day when it was revealed 1051 people died in a year.

Sticking with Ms Whitham’s metaphor, if the tide is turning, it is exposing a beach littered with the bodies of those letdown, ignored and neglected by the government for the last decade and more.

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The alcohol-specific deaths showed there were even more people who died from that cause than in a drug-related death.

In Glasgow, it was the highest in 12 years.

And there were 4.3 times as many deaths from alcohol in the most deprived communities than in the least deprived communities.

I told you it was depressing.

READ NEXT:Alcohol deaths rise to highest in 12 years in Glasgow

It is even more depressing for the thousands of people living with addiction and looking for help to find a way out but not finding the help they need.

The thread running through all three is deprivation.

People in the most deprived areas are more likely to be involved in a drug death, alcohol death or become homeless.

As well as looking at efforts to help people experiencing all these problems in the here and now, which is urgently needed more than ever it is obvious, more preventative action is required.

Sadly, one of the measures intended to reduce deaths from alcohol has not lived up to its life-saving billing.

Rather than invest sufficiently in treatment and other preventative measures the big idea for alcohol was minimum unit pricing.

The modelling from the experts said it would save lives.

In 2018, when it was introduced it was estimated over the first five-year period there will be 400 fewer alcohol-related deaths and 8,000 fewer alcohol-related hospital admissions.

In 2022, there were 1276 deaths up from the 1020 deaths in 2017, the year before minimum pricing was introduced.

I am not a mathematician nor a statistician but that does not look like a reduction of 400 in five years.

In too many cases of people affected by alcohol, drugs or homelessness the underlying cause can be traced to poverty and deprivation.

Underinvestment in local services that deal with all these problems on the front line does not help.

Slashing the amount of money available for community projects, alcohol and drug recovery projects, housing and social work will not help turn the tide.

Only investment, in the right places will.