Tayside and Central Scotland

Concern over 10 Tayside drugs deaths

Ten people have died in Tayside since 1 January after suspected overdoses of illegal drugs, police have revealed.

Detective said it was too early to tell if the deaths were linked, but warned that dealers could be charged with culpable homicide.

Nine of the deaths have been in Dundee and one in Perth.

Tayside Police said people should not hesitate to call for help if they believed that someone had overdosed on drugs.

Det Insp Callum Leith, the force's drugs co-ordinator, said: ''It is appreciated that some people involved in drug misuse may be reluctant to seek medical assistance as the police may be informed.

"However, I would assure anyone who is simply seeking medical assistance, particularly for persons suspected of having overdosed, the primary reason for officers' attendance will be to ensure the earliest possible medical assistance is obtained."

'Utmost priority'

Tayside Police said it was making the heroin "antidote" Naxolone more widely available to people trained in its use in the hope it would prevent more deaths.

And the force said it would pursue drug dealers and charge them if there was evidence they had contributed to someone's death.

The lead officer in Dundee's Alcohol and Drug Partnership, Steven Dalton, said: "The recent deaths in Tayside are a tragic example of the high risks involved in drug using activity.

"We cannot underestimate the devastating impact these deaths have on family, friends and the wider community. All those involved in providing and planning drug services in Tayside view the prevention of these tragedies as of the utmost priority."

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