Thu 5 Sep, 2019

The Scottish Government must do more, urgently, to deal with Scotland’s drug deaths crisis according to the Scottish Greens Health Spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP. 

Ms Johnstone, who responded to a statement on the issue by the Minister for Public Health this afternoon (5 Sep), criticised the Scottish Government for failing to step up in the face of this public health emergency. 

Alison Johnstone MSP said: 

“I am pleased to note once again that the Scottish Government considers this issue a public health crisis, we know that the war on drugs has failed, we can’t arrest our way out of this crisis.

“But the Scottish Government’s response has been complacent; The Minister for Public Health announced a new drugs taskforce to tackle Scotland’s drug deaths emergency in March, but it hasn’t met yet – in that time, around 600 people have died. That is shameful. 

“This week in the programme for government we hear that £10million is to be allocated to provide targeted support. This completely fails to recognise the scale of the crisis Scotland faces and the urgency of the response required.  

“If we are to tackle this emergency we must rid treatment of the punitive view some services adopt, instead recognising that the nature of addiction means people may relapse. People must be treated with respect and dignity, and importantly, the services must be adequately funded. 

“The UK Government’s approach to this crisis is deplorable, and I reiterate the call that my party has made for many years that drugs laws should be devolved to the Scottish Parliament, and that decriminalisation is essential,  but that isn’t an excuse for the Scottish Government to continue to fail to live up to its responsibilities.”

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