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Number of drink related deaths in West Lothian drops after peak during pandemic

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The number of drink related deaths had dropped in West Lothian, after a spike during the two years of Covid lockdown.More than 80 people in the county died alcohol-specific deaths during the pandemic.In a report to the Integration Joint Board, Mike Reid, the general manager of Health and Social Care Partnership Mental Health and Addictions services said that 45 people died in 2021 and 40 in 2020.A report to the Integration Joint Board this month showed that the number of deaths recorded last year had dropped to 28.Mr Reid’s report said: “Whilst it is positive to see a reduction in deaths, care should be taken not to over-interpret data.

Alcohol and Drug Partnership (ADP) partners are working to develop a local alcohol pathway to improve the existing delivery of services and national standards are anticipated in 2024.“Meanwhile partners continue to work to see people quickly, offer appropriate harm reduction interventions, psychological input, support to reduce drinking and detox and / or rehabilitation where required.”Last year’s figure while a substantial drop bears closer resemblance to pre-pandemic figures.The report said: “Both of those years [ 2020 and 2021] were a significant increase on the previous year: in 2019 there were 24 Alcohol Specific Deaths.”The West Lothian drop in 2022 bucked a national trend which saw the number of alcohol specific deaths rising.Across Scotland there was a small increase in alcohol-specific deaths in 2022.

Drink- related deaths have generally risen since 2012. Before this point, deaths fell sharply from the peak of 1,417 in 2006 to 968 in 2012.Mr Reid, who is Chair of West Lothian Drug and Alcohol Partnership, said: “As noted at Tuesday’s Integration Joint Board meeting, in 2022 28

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