At their spring conference Scottish Liberal Democrats have today approved a plan that seeks to curb the number of drug-related deaths in Scotland by learning from successful efforts in other countries.
Following on from steps to establish a new safe injecting and heroin assisted treatment facility in Glasgow, the party has reaffirmed its support for such safe spaces and testing facilities, said drugs should be treated as a health issue and called for new steps to educate people on the dangers drugs pose.
Afterwards, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP commented:
“With a record 700 deaths now caused by drug use each year, it is essential that Scotland learn from the experience of other countries that have taken radical steps to reduce unnecessary and tragic drug-related deaths.
“Under the SNP we have seen dramatic cuts to drug and alcohol services and existing drug law enforcement strategies are failing.
“Today’s conference vote puts us firmly in the mainstream when it comes to medical and scientific evidence and best practice on tackling drug-related incidents.
“For many years the Liberal Democrat have supported a policy of decriminalisation of drug possession for personal use and provision of heroin assisted treatment clinics as a way of reducing both harm to the individual and to society.
This policy would prevent unnecessary deaths, alleviate the burden on our NHS and free up the justice system to tackle the people and organised crime groups producing and dealing drugs. It is time the Scottish Government got behind this approach.”