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SNP Government must go further and faster to eradicate drug deaths

June 15, 2022 2:14 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today called on the Scottish Government to move further and faster to tackle drugs deaths as new figures indicates the change in Government policy and the work of the taskforce has had little impact in reducing the number of drugs deaths in Scotland.

Official Police Scotland statistics on suspected drug deaths in Scotland released today, reveal that the number of suspected drug deaths between April 2021 and March 2022 was 1,187

Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

"These aren't just numbers, they are actual people. Each one represents a human tragedy and a family in mourning.

"Scotland's performance on drugs has been truly terrible, particularly in many of our poorest and most deprived neighbourhoods. That must change.

"When it comes to drug-related deaths, Scotland is the worst in Europe. This is a crisis of international significance. It's why I've called for a specialised WHO taskforce, made up of leading experts in drug mortality, to help get to grips this particularly Scottish epidemic.

"Scotland clearly needs to go further and faster. We also need a watertight strategy focused on diverting people at risk into treatment and education instead of prison, fast access support for them and their families and accessible drug testing.

"This highlights why the SNP need to end their obsession with breaking up the UK. They should be getting on with addressing this issue, which has become tragedy under their watch"