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SNP should “hang head in shame” at drug death record

July 3, 2018 5:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today called for a refresh of the national drugs strategy as drug-related deaths hit an all-time high.

There were 934 drug-related deaths in Scotland in 2017, 8% more than in 2016. This is the largest number of drug-related deaths record in Scotland since 1996.

Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

"The Scottish Government should hang its head in shame today. The Scottish Liberal Democrats sounded the alarm last year when drug deaths reached a new high. The fact they've increased this year is a national tragedy. These deaths are tragic and unnecessary.

"The SNP have presided over dramatic cuts to drug and alcohol services and that has had a profound human cost. The lasting effect on its ability to help problematic drug users conquer their addictions is clearly reflected in these horrifying statistics.

"We need a complete refresh of the national drugs strategy. Scotland needs to learn the lessons of other countries that have taken radical steps to reduce drug-related deaths.

"The SNP has been complacent for far too long and that complacency is measured out in human lives."