THE latest figures on drug-related deaths in West Dunbartonshire have been released.

Twenty-eight lives were lost to drugs in the area in 2021, one fewer than the previous year.

It comes after a record 32 drug-related deaths were recorded in the area in 2019.

The Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board area recorded 427 drug-related deaths in 2021, which is a decrease from 444 in 2020, but an increase on 404 in 2019.

Statistics published by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) show that 1,330 people died from drug misuse in Scotland in 2021 - compared to 1,339 last year.

This makes it the first year since 2013 in which drug misuse deaths have not increased however the NRS highlights that it is still the second highest annual total after the record high for 2020.

Despite an overall decrease across the country and a slight drop in West Dunbartonshire, Greater Glasgow and Clyde still recorded the highest number of drug-related deaths per 100,000 people.

After adjusting for age, Greater Glasgow and Clyde had the highest drug misuse death rate of all health board areas for the five-year period 2017-2021 - of 33.7 per 100,000 population.

In 2021, there were 933 drug misuse deaths among men, a decrease of 40 from 2020.

There were 397 drug misuse deaths among women, an increase of 31 from 2020.

Since 1996 the number of male deaths has consistently been higher than female deaths and in 2021, males account for 70 per cent of drug misuse deaths.

In 2021, 65 per cent of all drug misuse deaths were of people aged 35-54 years old, which is an increase of 2 per cent from the previous year.

A full report on the deaths, and all of the data, is available on the NRS’s website HERE.