Evaluating the impact of public health interventions in Scotland's Drug-Related Death epidemic

  • McAuley, Andrew (PI)
  • Hutchinson, Sharon (CoI)
  • Hickman, Matthew, University of Bristol (CoI)
  • Vickerman, Peter, University of Bristol (CoI)
  • Jones, Hayley, University of Bristol (CoI)
  • Liddell, David , Scottish Drugs Forum (CoI)

Project Details


In Scotland, 1187 Drug-Related Deaths (DRD) were recorded in 2018, the highest annual total since records began and more than double the number recorded a decade ago. Scotland also has the highest per capita DRD rate in the European Union (213 deaths per million population), nearly three times higher than the UK DRD rate combined (74 per million), and higher than many regions internationally. The majority of these deaths have consistently involved opioids (heroin, morphine or methadone). Scotland’s unacceptably high DRD rate has been the subject of a Parliamentary inquiry and has been linked to a complex interplay of factors including polydrug use, ageing, multi-morbidity, stigma, poverty and deprivation. In response, the Scottish Government established a task force in 2019 with a remit to “to co-ordinate and drive action to improve the health outcomes for people who use drugs, reducing the risk of harm and death”.
Short titleEvaluating the impact of public health interventions in Scotland's Drug-Related Death epidemic
Effective start/end date1/01/2130/06/22


  • Scottish Government: £99,997.00

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities


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