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June 2018 – Scotland: Number of deaths involving benzodiazepine-type NPS etizolam and diclazepam increase sharply in 2016

VIENNA, Austria – June 2018: According to the National Drug-Related Deaths Database, NPS-related deaths in Scotland increased by 44 per cent to 363 deaths in 2016, primarily due to the number of deaths involving benzodiazepine-type NPS such as etizolam and diclazepam. Deaths relating to etizolam increased from 58 deaths in 2015 to 270 deaths in 2016, accounting for 33 per cent of all drug-related deaths reported in Scotland that year. Deaths relating to diclazepam also increased significantly by 33 per cent to 134 deaths in 2016. Overall, all NPS-related deaths reported in Scotland in 2016 involved the use of multiple substances. Among all drug-related deaths in 2016, etizolam was the third most frequently identified substance reported among drug-related deaths in 2016, after heroin/morphine (reported in 56 per cent of all drug-related deaths) and methadone (reported in 43 per cent of all drug-related deaths). In 2016, etizolam was involved in more female than male drug-related deaths. Benzodiazepine-type NPS generally accounted for 81 per cent of all NPS-related deaths in 2015 and 98 per cent in 2016.

Figure 1. NPS-related deaths in Scotland, 2009-2016

For more information, please see:

National Services Scotland report on “The National Drug-Related Deaths Database (Scotland)”

UNODC Global SMART Update Volume 18 “Non-medical use of benzodiazepines: a growing threat to public health?”


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