Publication title

Drug-Related Hospital Statistics Scotland from 2019/2020.


Data relating to general acute and psychiatric hospital stays with a diagnosis of drug misuse. These data are presented at a national level and also broken down by demographic characteristics/local geographies.


Lifestyle and behaviours


Substance use


HTML and PDF summary with online dashboard

Data source(s)

General acute inpatient/day case records (SMR01)

Mental health inpatient/day case records (SMR04)

Date that data are acquired

SMR01: 4 May 2021; SMR04: 4 May 2021

Release date

15 June 2021



Timeframe of data and timeliness

General acute (SMR01) – information from the period 01/04/1996 to 31/03/2019. Analysis based on the period 1996/97 to 2019/20.

Psychiatric (SMR04) –information from the period 01/04/1996 to 31/03/2019. Analysis based on the period 1997/98 to 2019/20.

General acute & psychiatric combined (SMR01 & SMR04) – information from the period 01/04/1996 to 31/03/2020. Analysis based on the period 1997/98 to 2019/20.

Continuity of data

See background information.

Revisions statement

All data are revised annually to reflect any changes to analysis and to ensure the most complete information is presented. Data for the most recent financial year are labelled as provisional and may be subject to change in forthcoming publications. Minor revisions of this nature are often due to incomplete data returns at the time of the previous publication.

Revisions relevant to this publication

In previous publications, the ‘multiple/other’ drug category comprised the following ICD-10 codes:


Mental and behavioural disorders due to: Hallucinogens


Mental and behavioural disorders due to: Volatile Solvents


Mental and behavioural disorders due to: Multiple/Other Drugs


Poisoning by narcotics: Unspecified Narcotics


Poisoning by narcotics: LSD


Poisoning by narcotics: Unspecified Hallucinogens


Toxic effect of organic solvents

*Provided at least one of the ICD-10 mental and behavioural codes were present (F11-F16, F18, or F19).

In this publication, the codes F16, T40.8 and T40.9 were brought together to form a new 'hallucinogen' drug type category, while the remainder of the codes listed above were retained in the 'multiple/other' category.

This has had the effect of slightly reducing the number of drug-related hospital stays that were attributed to 'multiple/other' drugs. In 2019/20, there were 3,432 stays with 'multiple/other' drug category recoded, and 183 stays where hallucinogens were recorded. If the original coding had been used there would have been 3,597 stays in the ‘multiple/other’ category. Please note that there may be more than one drug-related diagnostic code recorded on a stay, so the sum of stays associated with individual drug categories will not be equal to the overall total of drug-related stays.

Concepts and definitions

See Glossary.

Also, refer to:

Hospital care - background information (external website)
ScotPHO - drug misuse (external website)

Relevance and key uses of the statistics

Relevant to understanding substance use in Scotland. Statistics will be used for policy making and service planning.


Quality checks are conducted by Public Health Scotland (PHS) (previously Information Services Division (ISD)). Figures are compared to previously published data and expected trends.


Details of data submission issues are available on the SMR completeness webpage (external website).


The NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) publishes figures on hospital admissions for drug-related mental health and behavioural disorders in England but should not be directly compared with published data from Scotland. For more information see the background information on the PHS hospital care webpage (external website).


It is the policy of PHS to make its websites and products accessible according to published guidelines (external website).

Coherence and clarity

Data are presented within an interactive dashboard workbook. Notes have been added to ensure technical terms can be understood.

Value type and unit of measurement

Numbers, percentages and European Age-sex Standardised Rates per 100,000.


The PHS protocol on Statistical Disclosure Protocol (external website) is followed to protect patient confidentiality.

Official Statistics designation

Accredited National Statistic

UK Statistics Authority Assessment

Completed assessment by UK Statistics Authority, report published 4 April 2012.

Last published

27 October 2020

Next published

Winter 2021/22

Date of first publication


Help email

Date form completed

04 June 2021

Early access details

Pre-Release Access

Under terms of the "Pre-Release Access to Official Statistics (Scotland) Order 2008", PHS is obliged to publish information on those receiving Pre-Release Access ("Pre-Release Access" refers to statistics in their final form prior to publication). The standard maximum Pre-Release Access is five working days. Shown below are details of those receiving standard Pre-Release Access.

Standard Pre-Release Access

Scottish Government Health Department

NHS Board Chief Executives

NHS Board Communication leads

PHS and Official Statistics

About Public Health Scotland (PHS)

PHS is a knowledge-based and intelligence driven organisation with a critical reliance on data and information to enable it to be an independent voice for the public’s health, leading collaboratively and effectively across the Scottish public health system, accountable at local and national levels, and providing leadership and focus for achieving better health and wellbeing outcomes for the population. Our statistics comply with the Code of Practice for Statistics (external website) in terms of trustworthiness, high quality and public value. This also means that we keep data secure at all stages, through collection, processing, analysis and output production, and adhere to the 'five safes (external website)'.

Last updated: 20 November 2023
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