Drug-related deaths in Ayrshire and Scotland have fallen slightly, according to the latest data.

The Ayrshire and Arran health board area recorded 100 drug-related deaths in 2021, which is a slight decrease from 106 in 2020 and 109 in 2019.

North Ayrshire recorded the most deaths in the health board, with 39 - the same number as in 2020.

East Ayrshire had 38 deaths, two more than in 2020, while South Ayrshire recorded 23 deaths - down from 31 the previous year.

Scotland as a whole recorded 1,330 drug-related deaths in 2021, again a slight decrease from last year’s 1,339.

Despite the decrease in the area, Ayrshire and Arran still falls just behind Greater Glasgow and Clyde as the area in Scotland with the most drug-related deaths per 100,000 population.

After adjusting for age, Greater Glasgow and Clyde had the highest drug misuse death rate of all health board areas for the 5-year period 2017-2021 of 33.7 per 100,000 population, followed by Ayrshire and Arran with 28.1.

The Scottish Government have responded to Ayrshire’s shocking level of drug deaths in recent years, choosing the Saltcoats as the site of their new national addiction family rehab centre.

Harper House will be used to house those trying to kick their drug and alcohol addictions and will be provide residential treatment programmes for up to 20 families at a time.

In 2021, there were 933 drug misuse deaths of males, a decrease of 40 from 2020.

There were 397 drug misuse deaths of females, an increase of 31 from 2020.

Since 1996 there have always been more male than female deaths and in 2021, males accounted for 70 per cent of drug misuse deaths.

In 2021, 65 per cent of all drug misuse deaths were of people aged 35-54 year olds, which is an increase of two per cent from last year. The full report can be found on the National Records of Scotland website.