The majority of drug deaths in Scotland involve benzodiazepines, a class of drugs that include diazepam – sometimes referred to as Valium. These drugs have been prescribed for decades, but it is not prescribed benzodiazepines that are killing so many Scots, it is illicit versions that vary significantly in strength. This lack of quality control and potency mean those using the drugs often don’t know how strong they are until it’s too late.
It’s also telling that those living in the most deprived areas were 18 times more likely to die due from drugs than those from the most affluent areas in Scotland, according to the research. So, while drugs are ubiquitous, the fatal effects are not.
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