Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs (Scottish Families) will be attending the debate in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 20 December 2017, to show our support for families affected by alcohol and drug-related deaths in Scotland.
In 2016 there were 1,265 alcohol-related deaths and 867 drug-related deaths in Scotland, a total of 2,132 deaths. This is an average of 41 deaths every single week over the year. We believe that these are preventable deaths. Over the lifetime of the current drug and alcohol strategies (published respectively in 2008 and 2009), there have been 15,077 substance-related deaths.
We know that behind every one of these deaths will be an invisible family story. Many families are left to deal with the impact of loss and grief on their own without support and the opportunity to grieve due to the stigma, loneliness, and isolation linked to alcohol and drug-related bereavement.
From our work across Scotland, we know that families act as a protective factor for many people with alcohol and drug problems. Every single day of every single year families are doing everything they can to keep their family member safe, support them into treatment and keep them alive.
We hope to see many MSPs at the debate and have prepared this briefing paper which highlights the impact of alcohol and drug-related deaths on families, and championing the contribution of families.