The number of north-east people killed by drugs rose during the first half of last year compared to 2017.
Statistics obtained using Freedom of Information legislation showed there were 52 drug-related deaths between January and June last year in the North East Police Division, compared to 41 for the same period the previous year.
The death rate is the second highest among police divisions across Scotland, with Glasgow dwarfing the numbers for the north-east with 134 deaths in the first half of 2018, up from 95 the previous year.
Chief Inspector Scott Tees, of Police Scotland Safer Communities, said: “Police Scotland is committed to reducing the tragic impact of drugs on people.
“We continue to work in collaboration with partners including the NHS, Scottish Government, the education sector and Alcohol and Drug Partnerships to address the continuing rise in drug-related deaths.
“Throughout the year, we actively monitor drugs-related deaths to inform our prevention and enforcement activity, ahead of the publication of official figures held by National Records of Scotland.
“Through enforcement, we actively target those individuals involved in serious and organised crime.
“This includes importation, production and distribution of controlled or illicit drugs. We recognise the harm this causes in our communities and appreciate the continued support of the public and the information they provide.
“We ask all communities to help Police Scotland to identify individuals and groups involved in the sale and supply of drugs.
“Speak to a police officer or call Police Scotland on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
The news comes just six months after the Evening Express revealed that alprazolam, known by the brand name Xanax, had been named in toxicology reports involving 29 fatalities in 2017.