The figures showed that drug deaths had risen by 119 in a year
Scotland's drug death toll has risen by more than a quarter in the last year, new figures have suggested.
Figures from the General Register Office revealed drugs killed 574 people in 2008, up from 455 the year before.
The report found the number of deaths more than doubled in a decade and said the long-term trend "appears to be steadily upwards".
It revealed deaths were rising most sharply among older people and falling among the under-25s.
The Scottish Government published its drugs action strategy in May last year.
Community Safety Minister Fergus Ewing said: "As a legacy of long-term drug misuse over recent decades, drug-related deaths may continue to rise over the next few years, especially among older men, which is exactly why we have put in place a strategy to turn the situation around.
"It's a long-term problem with no single solution.
"That is why we must continue to take action to tackle this issue now and for the long-term."
A spokesman for the Scottish Drugs Forum said more must be done at the prevention and treatment stages of tackling drugs problems.
He said: "It is difficult to tell exactly why older drug users are increasingly featuring among the drug death statistics. However, many will have been using drugs - primarily heroin - for a long time.
"Their physical health will have deteriorated and many will have become increasingly socially isolated over the years, which could make them more vulnerable to accidental or deliberate overdose.
"In addition, older drugs users not in treatment services can lose hope about their chances of overcoming their drug problem and living a normal life."
The number of drug-related deaths have increased in eight of the past 10 years.
The majority of deaths were among men, at 80%. The 35-44 age bracket made up 30% or drug-related fatalities and 37% were aged between 25-34 years old.
The Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS Board area accounted for 34% of the deaths, Lothian 16% and Tayside 9%.
Heroin and morphine were present in the body in 59% of the deaths.