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, only the drug use pages contain updated data.

Main points


Social harm: Drug-related crimes by council area

  • In 2019/20, the Scotland rate of recorded drug crimes was 64.6 crimes per 10,000 population. Local authority rates of recorded drug crimes ranged from 127.6 crimes per 10,000 population in Dunbartonshire West to 20.1 in Angus.

Health harm: Births in Scottish hospitals

  • In 2019/20, drug use was recorded in 1.6% (769) of a total of 47,767 maternities in Scotland, approximately the same as in 2018/19, when the percentage was 1.7%.
  • The drugs most commonly recorded as being used during pregnancy were cannabis (8.9 per 1,000 maternities), cocaine (3.5 per 1,000 maternities) and opiates (3.3 per 1,000 maternities). Recorded opiate use during pregnancy consistently decreased over time from 9.7 per 1,000 maternities in 2011/12.
  • In 2019/20, of a total of 48,326 babies born in Scotland, 0.2% (119) were recorded as having been affected by, or having withdrawal symptoms from maternal use of drugs of addiction. This percentage has decreased steadily over time from 0.7% of live births in 2011/12.

Allergic conditions

  • In 2019/20, 163 people per 100,000 were hospitalised for an allergy-related illness at least once during the year, continuing the stable trend seen in recent years.
  • Asthma continues to be the most common allergic condition, accounting for 75% of the approximately 8,950 allergy-related hospital admissions from 2019/20.


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 MRC/CSO 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

All the topic areas updated will be available on the ScotPHO website (external website).

Open data for this publication is available from the Scottish Health and Social Care open data portal (external website).

The next release of this publication will be 30 March 2021.

General enquiries

If you have an enquiry relating to this publication, please email phs.scotpho@phs.scot.

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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: 14 July 2021
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