Responding to the news that the rate of drug-related hospital stays trebled from 73 per 100,000 population in 1996/97 to 260 stays per 100,000 in 2018/19, Scottish Liberal Democrat public health spokesperson Rosemary Bruce said:
“It’s nothing short of a scandal that drug-related hospital stays have skyrocketed over the last two decades.
“Too many families have been scarred by these problems and drained by their attempts to seek help at depleted local facilities. The SNP's 22% cut to drug and alcohol partnerships in 2016/17 was a bewildering mistake. Services and expertise which people relied on were lost.
“The Scottish Liberal Democrats have set out a clear, practical plan of how to turn the crisis in drug misuse around. It includes protecting partnership budgets, sending people to treatment instead of prison, and establishing proposals for a Scotland-wide network for the provision of heroin-assisted treatment.
“This trend has been going the wrong way for far too long. We need to act now before it’s too late for many more people.”