Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today called on the government to endorse “humane proposals” to establish heroin assisted treatment clinics, as new statistics reveal the volume of heroin seized by Police Scotland in 2017-18 had doubled from the previous year and the number of ecstasy-type tablets seized had tripled.
In 2017-18, Police Scotland seized:
- 118.6 kg of heroin (an increase from 54.1kg in 2016-17). The number of seizures increased from 815 to 826.
- 25,400 ecstasy-type tablets (an increase from 8,600 in 2016-17). The number of seizures decreased from 150 to 143.
- 74.4kg of cocaine (a decrease from 120.3kg in 2016-17). The number of seizures increased from 488 to 543.
Alex Cole-Hamilton commented:
“There has been a huge upsurge in the volume of some of the most potent class A drugs being seized over the last year.
“Dramatic cuts to drug and alcohol services have had a lasting impact. Existing drug law enforcement strategies are failing as evidenced by the spiralling number of people dying and being hospitalised. People who misuse drugs are often among the most vulnerable in our society and ministers need to take more immediate action to reduce harm.
“Humane proposals to establish heroin assisted treatment clinics are a way of reducing harm to the individual and to society. We also need a crystal-clear commitment to stop sending people caught in possession of drugs for their own personal use to prison. It makes sense to send them for treatment and education instead of prison where one study found half of people released tested positive for drugs.”