The increased investment made by the Government in treating drug addicts is beginning to yield results in Scotland, with as many as 14,000 new drug users seeking treatment in 2004. Heroin users accounted for 8,000 of this figure. This amounts to a 10% increase in the number of people trying to get back to normal life.
The Scottish Drug Misuse Database revealed the figures, which also said that the percentage of heroin users is falling. About 8% of the illicit drug users took cocaine. Out of the 348 people who used crack cocaine, as many as 106 people belonged to the Grampian NHS health board area, while Greater Glasgow accounted for 42, and Lothian another 93. The ranks of the unemployed accounted for 84% of the new drug users, while 45% of them had a jail record.
The drug related deaths in Scotland rose by 12% in 2004 to 356, when in comparison to the 2003 figures, according to Hugh Henry, the Deputy Justice Minister of Scotland. An amount of over 120,000 will be utilized towards raising awareness levels with regard to a overdose, and teaching first aid techniques to service providers. The training is being provided by the Scottish Drugs Forum. The issue connected to delays in contacting emergency services immediately after an overdose is also being addressed.