1. This paper gives information about drug-related deaths in Scotland over the period 1996-2000 using a new definition for the baseline figures. The new definition was agreed by a working party set up following the publication, by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), of a report [Reference 3] on 'Reducing drug-related deaths'. It will also be used elsewhere in the United Kingdom. To assist the transition to the new definition, several tables contain data for 1996-1999 based on the new approach.
2. Under the new, more restricted, definition there were 292 drug-related deaths in 2000 and 291 in 1999, some 10-15 per cent fewer than under the old definition. Annex B contains figures for 1996-2000 based on the old definition used in earlier papers covering Scotland published by the National Records of Scotland (NRS).