The latest suspected drug death figures show an average of 100 people dying each month.

In the first six months of this year there were 600 suspected deaths, which is up by 38 on the same period the year before.

The statistics show “after following a downward trend since early 2021, the rolling 12-month total number of suspected drug deaths has increased slightly in recent quarters”.

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The statistics are revealed for police divisions with Greater Glasgow having the highest at 143, Lanarkshire next with 76, and Edinburgh third highest with 73.

The most recent data showed that between April and June 2023 there were 302 suspected deaths, an increase of 25 on the previous year.

The upward trend is causing concern after the annual figures for 2022 released last month showed a fall in drug deaths.

The latest statistics for the whole of 2022 revealed a drop in deaths of 279, down to 1051 from 1330 the year before.

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Sandesh Gulhane, Scottish Conservative health spokesperson and Glasgow MSP, said: “Drug deaths continue to be Scotland’s national shame on the SNP’s watch.

“Every single one of the hundreds of deaths that have already occurred this year is a tragedy and my thoughts are with those grieving the loss of a loved one.

“It is utterly scandalous that we are seeing the number of lives lost to drugs heading in the wrong direction once again. Nicola Sturgeon – by her own admission – took her eye off the ball and deaths soared as a result.

“Humza Yousaf is in danger of doing the same. Scotland has by far the worst drug deaths rate in the whole of Europe, but we are still seeing far too little in the way of action from SNP ministers to tackle this crisis.”

Jackie Baillie, Scottish Labour Health Spokesperson, said: “Scotland’s drugs death crisis is a national tragedy and these damning figures show that it is far from over.

“Any changes that help tackle this crisis are a welcome intervention, but they cannot reverse these tragic figures alone.

“We know that more must be done to prevent any more fatalities and keep people safe, but we also need more and wider support for people struggling with addiction.”

This week the Lord Advocate, Dorothy Bain, gave the go-ahead for a safer drug consumption room in Glasgow when she said she would publish a policy that it would not be int eh public interest to prosecute people for possession of drugs in the facility.