National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Drug-related Deaths in Scotland in 2016

Drug-related Deaths in Scotland in 2016


Statistics of drug-related deaths in 2016 and earlier years, broken down by cause of death, selected drugs reported, age and sex.


Web Only

Official Print Publication

Web Only

15 August 2017


National Statistics Logo

Correction to Table 4 - 17 January 2018
We regret that there were errors of 1 in each of four of the 'males' figures in the lower part of Table 4, because they did not take account of a correction to the underlying data for 2014 which is described in paragraph 1.7 of the publication.  Two of the 'males' figures for 2014 were wrong: the 'all ages' total of 452 should have been 453 (as shown in the upper part of Table 4); and the '55 and over' figure of 27 should have been 28.  The corresponding 'males' 2012-2016 averages were also wrong: the 'all ages' average of 467 should have been 468 (as shown in the upper part of Table 4); and the '55 and over' average of 36 should have been 37.  The other tables were not affected by such an error. All the different versions of Table 4 (in the HTML and PDF versions of the publication, and in the Excel, CSV and PDF versions of the table) have now been corrected on this website. We apologise for any problems or inconvenience that may have been caused by our error.

This document is available in:

HTML Format (HyperText Markup Language) and

PDF Format (Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format) (913 KB).

If you require this publication in a different format, please contact our Statistics Customer Services at the e-mail address below.

PDF files require Acrobat Reader. Download Acrobat Reader free Get Acrobat Reader

List of Tables and Figures

NHS Board and council statistics for certain drugs for 2016, on the 'all drugs found present in the body' basis (not the standard basis for figures for individual drugs)

With effect from the publication of Drug-related Deaths in Scotland in 2009, the standard basis for the National Records of Scotland figures for individual drugs for 2008 and subsequent years was changed to 'drugs which were implicated in, or which potentially contributed to, the cause of death'. Further information about this change is given in (e.g.) paragraph 1.3 and Section 2 of Drug-related Deaths in Scotland in 2009.

However, there is also some interest in statistics which cover all the drugs reported by a pathologist, including any 'which were present, but which were not considered to have had any direct contribution to this death'. Therefore, the extra tables that are available via the links below provide figures for individual drugs, for NHS Boards and councils, on this 'all drugs found present in the body' basis. These statistics are on the same basis as, and so may be compared with, the figures for 2008 which were published in Tables HB3 and C3 of
Drug-related Deaths in Scotland in 2008 - except that NHS Board boundary changes mean that, in some cases, they are not directly comparable to what was published in previous years. It must also be remembered that these figures are not on the standard basis.

Table HBX

Drug-related deaths by selected drugs reported and NHS Board area, 2016
(Excel    CSV    PDF)

Table CX

Drug-related deaths by selected drugs reported and council area, 2016
(Excel    CSV    PDF)

Statistical Service in Scotland

A list of common definitions and acronyms used in this publication is available on our Glossary page.

This is an annual publication.

The dates of future publications will be announced on our Future Publications page.

Enquiries and Suggestions

For our contact details please see the publication home page

All statistical publications