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Heartbreaking new statistics have revealed that at least 852 babies have been born with drug addiction in Scotland since 2017.

The figures, compiled by the Scottish Liberal Democrats using Freedom of Information data, show that 249 such births were recorded from 2017-18, followed by 205 in 2018-19 and 173 in 2019-20 and 2020-21.

Exposure to certain to drugs in the womb can cause new-born babies to suffer from neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), with symptoms including uncontrollable trembling, seizures, fever, vomiting, blotchy skin and high-pitched or too much crying as they withdraw from drugs.

The worst possible start in life

Scottish Lib Dem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said that it was “hard to think of a worse possible start in life for a new-born baby to have to endure.”

“It is time for radical action, not just to help people struggling with drug misuse today but for future generations too.”

Scotland has the worst overall rate of drug deaths in Europe, recording 1,339 from 2020-21. Figures from the first half of 2021-22 reveal that 720 people have died because of drug use.

Hamilton added: “Scotland now has its highest-ever number of drug deaths. The Scottish government has begun to repair that damage but there is so much more to do.

“That means investing in local services which are best placed to intervene to stop lives from being lost and new lives starting dependent on substances.”

AlphaBiolabs drug testing in Scotland

AlphaBiolabs works with local authorities and family law professionals across Scotland, providing a range of legal drug testing services.

For every legal instruction we receive throughout 2022, we will be donating £5 to four charities as part of our Giving Back campaign, including Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol & Drugs (SFAD).

Our Glasgow walk-in centre is based at the Glasgow Medical Rooms on Vincent Street, offering drug testing services for members of the public and legal purposes.

We also provide workplace drug testing solutions.

To learn more, contact our friendly and knowledgeable Customer Services team on 0333 600 1300 or email info@alphabiolabs.com.