About this release

This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) provides the Scottish Public Health Observatory (ScotPHO) quarterly update on a number of topic areas. Of these topics, the Drugs pages contain new data.

Main point

Social harm: Drug-related criminal proceedings

  • In 2019/20, there were 4,430 people convicted in cases where a drug offence was the main charge. Of these convictions, 52% were for class A drugs (e.g. cocaine, ecstasy, heroin), 35% for class B drugs (e.g. amphetamines, cannabis) and 8% for class C drugs (e.g. anabolic steroids, diazepam, GHB). For the remaining 5% of convictions the drug type was unknown.


The Scottish Public Health Observatory (external website) collaboration is led by PHS and includes the Glasgow Centre for Population Health, National Records of Scotland, the Medical Research Council/Chief Scientist Office Social and Public Health Sciences Unit and the Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory.

The aim of the collaboration is to make public health information more accessible, to promote the reduction in inequalities and to inform health improvement in Scotland.

Further information

Data from this publication are available from the publication page on the ScotPHO website (external website).

The next release of this publication will be 28 September 2021.

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Older versions of this publication

Versions of this publication released before 16 March 2020 may be found on the Data and Intelligence, Health Protection Scotland or Improving Health websites.

Last updated: 20 November 2023
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