Table Z: Drug-related deaths on the basis of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) 'wide' definition, by how they relate to the Drug Strategy 'baseline' definition, deaths from some causes which may be associated with past or present drug misuse, and volatile substance abuse deaths, 2006 to 2016
Cause of death20062007200820092010201120122013201420152016


  1. Paragraph A3 in Annex A explains why these kinds of deaths are excluded from the standard definition of 'drug-related death' figures produced by National Records of Scotland (NRS.)
  2. Including, for example, deaths caused by infections that resulted from the use of heroin which was contaminated by, say, anthrax.
  3. Including, for example, accidental deaths which were caused by the use of drugs which were not controlled at the time, such as those before 16 April 2010 which resulted from using mephedrone (assuming that no controlled drugs were found in the body).
  4. Only a proportion of deaths from these causes can be attributed to drug misuse - more information can be found in paragraph B8 of Annex B.
  5. 'ICD10' is the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision.
  6. More information can be found in paragraph B13 of Annex B about the statistics that it produces. A few deaths per year may be counted both in the 'ICDP' figures and in the standard drug-related death statistics produced by NRS.

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All drug-related deaths (on the 'wide' definition)
of which:
on the basis used for this report's statistics (i.e. the Drug Strategy 'baseline' definition, as implemented by National Records of Scotland (NRS))421455574545485584581527614706867
deaths within the Drug Strategy 'baseline' definition,
but excluded from this report's statistics because1:
(a) cause of death was a secondary infection or a related complication21310232233161422222327
(b) controlled substance was present only as part of a compound analgesic or a cold remedy281035414543
other deaths counted as 'drug-related' by the 'wide' definition - but not on the basis used for this report314115713014616914513813210280100
Deaths from some causes which may be associated with present or past drug misuse4
Underlying cause of death, with its ICD105 code(s):
Hepatitis C (B18.2)1412182119252223184525
HIV (B20-24)1921181721161814141224
Total all deaths from the specified causes3333363840414037325749
Volatile Substance Abuse deaths
Deaths in Scotland - International Centre for Drugs Policy (ICDP) figures69103417..........