Drug Addiction in Scotland

Drug addiction is a growing problem in Scotland, with more people than ever turning to drugs for one reason or another.

Unfortunately, this has caused a serious threat to people, with more people dying from drug-related deaths in 2020 since records began. Over 1,339 drug-related deaths were registered in Scotland in 2020 alone.

It is commonly believed that the rise in drug use and drug-related deaths in Scotland is due to people living with more stress and worry than they have in previous years.

This is because the last few years have been difficult and traumatic for many people across Scotland, and many are using drugs as a way to escape how they are feeling. Trauma is the leading cause of addiction and can change a person’s brain chemistry and make them more suspectable to chemical interference and influence.

Other factors that can lead to a person developing a drug addiction can include:

  • They are living with an undiagnosed mental illness. They are trying to self-medicate in order to live a normal life.
  • They are living with chronic or untreated pain and are trying to self-medicate with prescription drugs in order to live a normal life.
  • They were forced into addiction due to bad living situations such as homelessness, domestic abuse, trafficking and imprisonment.
  • They have a family history of drug addiction, making them genetically more susceptible to developing an addiction themselves.
  • They grew up surrounded by drug addiction and drug use, normalising the behaviour until they also partook in the drugs.
  • They were peer-pressured into trying a highly addictive drug once and now are struggling with the addiction alone.
  • They were unwillingly spiked and have developed an addiction without consensually taking the drug.

People are complicated and so are their addictions. While drug addiction is spread all across Scotland, it is not something that just happens. Addiction needs time and a reason to happen, and a lot of the time, it is because of desperate or silly decisions that can change a person’s life.

Addiction is something that can never be cured. Instead, it can be learnt how to manage in order for a person to avoid the triggers for their cravings and potentially go years without giving in to their addictions.

But they will always have their addictions no matter how long they go without any drugs.

It is important to remember that long-term recovery is the end goal of everyone with a drug addiction who is working through the recovery process. This is because long-term recovery is when a person is able to live a perfectly normal and happy life without the constant need for drugs.

However, this is only achievable by lifestyle adaptations around coping mechanisms that have been developed to replace drug addiction.

Suppose you have not worked through the recovery process and overcome addiction. In that case, it may be difficult to understand how someone can go years without a drug yet still be addicted and appear fine. Drug rehab is the best place to receive treatment and get your life back on track.

You must remember that just like any chronic illness, there are good days and bad days, but there are no days when they are not working to avoid temptation for their cravings. It is ongoing work that can make a person’s life much better.


Most Common Drugs Used in Scotland:

Certain drugs are more widely accessed and used in Scotland than others.

The following is a list and a brief description of five of the most commonly used drugs in Scotland.

5- Amphetamine

Amphetamine is the lowest on our list, but it is still a widespread problem across Scotland. It is a drug that causes a person’s brain to speed up. It is a stimulant that can cause a lack of impulse control and lead people to act dangerously.

It can also mess with a person’s heartbeat, and long-term abuse leading to heart problems and even heart attacks.

4- Ketamine

Ketamine is next, and it is a drug that is often used for its sedative properties and how it allows people to calm down and relax. It also has hallucinogenic properties, which leads to people experiencing hallucinations.

There is a risk that a person can open their mind up to the potential of developing psychosis due to Ketamine use.


MDMA, or as it is more commonly known Ecstasy or Molly, is a powerful drug often found at raves and clubs. It causes intense and short-lived feelings of euphoria.

It also makes you unaware of your surroundings and lessens your perception of reality and its dangers.

2- Cocaine

Cocaine is the second most common drug in Scotland, and it also offers a very powerful but also short-lived high. It is a stimulant and causes a person to feel as though they are full of energy and indestructible.

Unfortunately, it can lead to elevated heart rate and heart problems, increased body temperature and decreased impulse control leading to putting yourself into dangerous situations. Cocaine rehab is the best place to recover from addiction.

1- Cannabis

Cannabis, or as it is more commonly known, weed, is the most common drug in Scotland. This is because weed is the most easily accessed as it can be grown in specially adapted rooms, while everything else requires chemical know-how and dangerous lab equipment.

It is also much cheaper than most of the other options leading it to be popular amongst first-time drug users looking to experiment.

It causes a person to feel relaxed and floaty. It also messes with rational judgment and reaction times leading to dangerous situations such as driving under the influence. Cannabis rehab is sometimes needed to overcome addiction.


Get Treatment for Drug Addiction in Scotland

If you are struggling with an addiction to any of these drugs, then you can access help from a private drug rehab centre here in Scotland.

We are Nova Recovery, and we are here to help you take back the power of your life from your addiction.

We do this by offering you all the treatments that you need in order to overcome your addiction in one convenient location. With us, you will be perfectly safe, and everything will be taken care of.

If you are ready to change your life, simply give us a call at 01475 303998 or fill out our contact form.

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John Gillen - Author - Last updated: September 8, 2023

John has travelled extensively around the world, culminating in 19 years’ experience looking at different models. He is the European pioneer of NAD+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide) treatment to Europe in 2010; and recently back from the USA bringing state of the art Virtual Reality Relapse Prevention and stress reduction therapy. His passion extends to other metabolic disturbances and neurodegenerative diseases. The journey continues. In recent times, John has travelled to Russia to study and research into a new therapy photobiomudulation or systemic laser therapy working with NAD+ scientists and the very best of the medical professionals in the UK and the USA, together with Nadcell, Bionad Hospitals own select Doctors, nurses, dieticians and therapists. Johns’ passion continues to endeavour to bring to the UK and Europe new developments with NAD+ Therapy in preventive and restorative medicine and Wellness. In 2017 John Gillen was made a visiting Professor at the John Naisbitt university in Belgrade Serbia.