SNP Government must go further and faster to eradicate drug deaths

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 after new figures revealed that Scotland still has the highest rate of drugs deaths in Europe.

A new Police Scotland publication on suspected drug deaths in Scotland reveals that the number of suspected drug deaths between January and December 2021 was 1,295

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.”

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