Yet another increase in drug deaths is proof of a “lack of progress” and need for action, campaigners have warned.

The latest report shows 100 suspected drug deaths a month across Scotland.

The National Records of Scotland report found there were 900 suspected drug deaths during the first nine months of 2023, which is 103) more than during the same period of 2022, a 13% increase.

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The rise follows a brief downward trend from early 2021 to late 2022.

Males accounted for 645 or 72% of the deaths, up by 89 on the same period the year before and women 255 a rise of 14 or 6%.

Annemarie Ward, chief executive of Faces and Voices of Recovery, which advocates for better treatment and services, said. “Each statistic in these reports represents a life tragically lost – a person who needed help but may have died waiting for it.

“Our hearts go out to each of these individuals and to the families mourning their loss. This ongoing crisis starkly demonstrates a failure in our system to provide timely and effective assistance.

“The consistency of these numbers year after year clearly shows our lack of progress.”

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Favor, is calling on the Scottish Government and MSPs to back the right to recovery bill which it helped draft and is being proposed at Holyrood by Scottish Conservative leader, Douglas Ross.

The bill would enshrine into law the right to access all available treatment options

Ms Ward said: “We need action, and we need it now.

“Enshrining the right to access all treatment options in law is the first crucial step. Let’s build with pace from here, transforming promises into actions, and hope into concrete help.”