Health & Fitness Drug-related hospital admissions in Lothian soar, MSPs hear during debate on drugs deaths
3,000 Britons killed by Covid caught on hospital wards
Nine hospital trusts across England reported the deaths of over 100 patients who picked up Covid while under their supervision, according to freedom of information requests. Out of the trusts that responded, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust recorded the highest number of fatalities at 222 (probable and definite cases).Meanwhile, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust reported 128 deaths (suspected and definite).
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The majority of hospital admissions were for opioids, with the number of patients increasing from 699 in 2015/16 to 864 in 2019/20, a 24 per cent increase.
Admissions for sedatives/hypnotics more than doubled from 147 to 300 and cases involving cannabinoids rose from 216 to 354, an increase of 64 per cent.
The figures were quoted by Lothian Tory MSP Miles Briggs as the Scottish Parliament debated Scotland’s drug-related deaths, which are far higher per capita than any other European country.
US drug overdose deaths surged during COVID-19 lockdowns
U.S. overdose deaths surged during the first half of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to preliminary data from the CDC.More than 87,200 people in the U.S. died from drug overdoses, primarily related to opioids, in a 12-month period from September 2019 to September 2020, according to the data published Wednesday (April 16). But officials predict there were likely more than 3,000 additional deaths due to overdose that weren't officially reported.
Mr Briggs said the spirit of urgency seen in the response to the Covid pandemic needed to be brought to the drug deaths crisis.
"Speaking to people who are in services today or trying to access services it is clear we are only at the very start of the necessary reforms that can make a real difference and start to turn around the unacceptable levels of drug related deaths and harms in our society.
“Many people working on the frontline have told me they expect higher drug deaths for 2020 when the figures are published next month. The pain and heartbreak for so many families across Scotland is set to continue and the negative impact of the pandemic cannot underestimated, but cannot be used as an excuse.”
And he spoke of a childhood friend, Jamie Murray, who died from a drug related death last year.
Flu and pneumonia are now killing almost as many people as Covid
Office for National Statistics data showed 275 deaths had Covid listed as the underlying causes. For flu and pneumonia, there were 265 that fitted this category.Office for National Statistics (ONS) analysis showed the illnesses were listed as the underlying cause of death for 265 victims in England and Wales in the week ending April 16.
“Jamie was found dead in a flat in Perth on September 1. His mum Jane bravely spoke out about the chaotic approach Jamie faced trying to access support services and rehab.
"For too long many families have felt excluded and have had to fight for everything for their loved ones, at the same time facing stigma and even sometimes blame.”
Mr Briggs – who backed his party’s call for a “right to rehab” – quoted Jamie’s mother describing her experience.
“Jane said: ‘I used to go with Jamie to meetings where he would be handed leaflets about methadone programmes, but when he’d beg to be sent for residential rehab, he was told there wasn’t any funding. He’d ask to get taken off methadone as the side effects are so awful, but when he asked to have his dose reduced or to try a different treatment he was told no. It was soul destroying and easy to see why he felt like he was on an endless roundabout with no way off.’”
Eight Spanish regions record fewer than 10 Covid deaths in a week
The vaccination campaign and the fall in transmission due to social restrictions has brought the number of victims down, but experts insist that caution is still needed if the situation is to continue to improveWhile delays to reporting from the regions could still alter this data, the figures for the following week confirm the trend, and according to Wednesday’s provisional figures from the Health Ministry covering the previous seven days, the improvement in the fatality rate has been consolidated: the vaccination campaign and the fall in transmission due to social restrictions have brought the number of victims down.
Mr Briggs praised those working in addiction services, but said a key issue was continuity of care.
And he quoted Jane again.
“She says: ‘As soon as Jamie would build up trust in one worker, they would move on, leaving him to start at the beginning again.
“What we did see was catastrophic policies which did not involve methadone reduction, but they did insist that if anyone had a dirty test they were out of the program after one strike. That threw vulnerable addicts into the clutches of drug dealers, taking whatever they could get their hands on – even though everyone knew street Valium was killing hundreds of them.’”
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New mental health support available .
West Space is an online place containing local information about mental health and wellbeing services , events, news and self-help materials for all adults in West Lothian. The online resource has been redeveloped by Scottish mental health charity Health in Mind in partnership with West Lothian’s Health and Social Care Partnership. Julie Huggan, online information development worker at Health in Mind, said: “An essential part of redeveloping West Space has been collaborating with people in West Lothian.