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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 June 2007, 17:32 GMT 18:32 UK
Drug-related deaths soar in Fife
Man injecting drugs
There have been five drug overdose deaths in Fife in six months
Fifteen drug-related deaths have been recorded in Fife in six months compared with just two during the same period last year.

Police and NHS officials have voiced concerns following the steep rise, latest statistics show.

Since the start of 2007, five people have died as a result of overdoses and 10 more deaths are thought to have been substances-related.

A Fife Constabulary spokesman said they would continue to disrupt supplies.

But he added enforcement activity could only be one part of the harm reduction effort.

Safer communities

Pc Kenny Cameron, Fife Constabulary's drugs co-ordinator, said: "Every single drug-related death is a tragic waste of life which causes distress and upset to the family and friends involved.

"Drug misuse is an extremely risky activity. Taking individual drugs is hazardous enough, however taking any form of substance, including alcohol, particularly in combination, increases those risks considerably.

"We continue to target the supply of drugs in the Fife area, however this enforcement activity can only be seen as being one part of a comprehensive approach to reducing drug misuse in Fife, thereby making our communities safer."

Stella Clark, medical director of primary care for NHS Fife said: "Fife has recently established a multi-agency drug death monitoring group which examines all drug-related deaths in Fife to ensure that we learn from them.

"Helping people to get out of the cycle of drug misuse initially through needle exchange, improved health information and harm reduction, can only be truly effective when those using the drugs respond positively to such advice."

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