DCSIMG

One in ten hospital drugs cases due to cannabis

Cannabis accounted for nearly 11 per cent of the 5,683 drugs-related discharges from hospitals in 2012/13. Picture: Getty

Cannabis accounted for nearly 11 per cent of the 5,683 drugs-related discharges from hospitals in 2012/13. Picture: Getty

ONE IN ten drugs cases dealt with by hospitals are because of cannabis, figures have shown.

Official statistics showed that the drug accounted for 10.7 per cent of the 5,683 drugs-related discharges from hospital in 2012-13.

The total number of drug-related discharges has fallen from the total of 6,270 the previous year.

But the Tories highlighted an increasing trend in the number of cases caused by cannabis.

In 2008-08 492 of the drugs cases dealt with by hospitals involved the class B substance - 8.4 per cent of all drugs discharges that year. But last year 10.7 per cent of total drugs discharges - 608 cases - involved cannabis.

Conservative health spokesman Jackson Carlaw MSP said: “Cannabis enjoys a reputation in some quarters as essentially being a safe drug. But we can see from these figures that clearly isn’t the case.

“Allowing the illegal substance that reputation can breed complacency among not only users, but authorities too.”

He said cannabis accounted for “almost double” the 316 hospital admissions caused by cocaine last year, and added: “The five-year trend is certainly moving in the wrong direction.

“We have to break this relaxed attitude, and ensure that the hundreds who are hospitalised as a result of cannabis don’t fall into a trap of believing what they are doing is a risk-free activity.”

Community Safety Minister Roseanna Cunningham said: “We have maintained record amounts of money in frontline drug services and support, with drug treatment waiting times dramatically reduced. We have an ambitious programme for education about the dangers of drugs, including cannabis, through Know the Score and Choices for Life.

“Drug taking in the general adult population has fallen since 2006 and drug use among young people is at its lowest levels since 2002. Hospital discharges for drug use have also fallen among younger age groups.”

 

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