SCOTLAND'S “drug death shame continues unabated” campaigners have warned as the latest figures show almost 300 dead in under 100 days.

The latest figures show an average of three people dying a day in the first three months of the year.

Despite the Scottish Government stating it embarked on a national mission to reduce deaths, groups dealing with people living with addiction say the pattern goes on.

The latest figures show an increase for the first three months of this year with 298 suspected deaths which is 13 more than the same period last year.

More men than women died but the number of women showed a rise, taking the total to 98.

The number of women dying increased at a higher rate with a 14% rise, 12 more than in the first three months of 2022.

Last week the Glasgow Times reported on a study from Glasgow Caledonian University that showed the so-called “ageing cohort” of drug users was not the reason for rising deaths over the last decade, as there had been an increase in younger people dying.

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The latest figures show there were 16 deaths of people aged between 16 and 25 between January and March.

Favor UK (Faces and Voices of Recovery), which supports people with addiction and advocates for improved treatment, responded to the latest figures.

It said: “Scotland's drug death shame continues unabated. Nearly 300 people in three months. Three people and more every single day dying.”

The latest report from Police Scotland on suspected drug deaths showed Greater Glasgow had the highest number, with 68 people dying over the first 90 days of the year.

Edinburgh City had 46 and Lanarkshire had 34 people die from drugs.

The Conservatives want the Scottish Government to take forward a bill to give people the right to treatment and more choice, including a greater focus on rehab.

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Sue Webber, drug policy spokesperson, said: “Despite these deeply concerning figures, we are continuing to see precious little action from SNP ministers to get on top of this national emergency. Frontline services are still at breaking point.

“The new SNP drugs minister needs to finally commit to backing the Scottish Conservatives’ game-changing Right to Recovery Bill.

“The legislation, which is supported by frontline experts, would guarantee access to treatment for all those who are struggling with addiction.”

The Scottish Government said it is working on a number of initiatives to reduce drug deaths.

Elena Whitham, drug and alcohol policy minister,  said: "My deepest sympathy goes to all those affected by the loss of a loved one from drugs. I am focused on supporting those affected by problem substance use, delivering real change on the ground and implementing evidence-based approaches to improve and save lives.

“We’re focused on getting more people into the form of treatment which works best for them. Through our £250 million National Mission on drugs, we have continued to expand residential rehabilitation, supported 300 grassroots projects, and continued to drive implementation of the Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Standards which support the consistent delivery of safe, accessible, high-quality drug treatment across Scotland.

“We’re also working towards introducing safer drug consumption facilities, as well as a pilot scheme to deliver drug-checking facilities.

“This quarterly management information is part of a wider surveillance approach being undertaken by Public Health Scotland to ensure a quick response to what is happening on the ground.

“Following a previous alert on nitazenes, which pose a substantial risk of overdose, hospitalisation and death, we continue to support partners to raise awareness of the risks and to deliver vital harm reduction services, including provision of Naloxone.”