Tue 3 Jul, 2018

There will be regressive voices in politics calling for an inhumane approach, failing to acknowledge their own role in visiting poverty upon our communities. John Finnie MSP

A serious overhaul of the government's drugs strategy is needed in light of new figures showing a record number of drug-related deaths in Scotland, according to Scottish Greens justice spokesperson John Finnie MSP.

The National Records of Scotland figures show there were 934 deaths in 2017, 66 (8 per cent) more than in 2016 and more than double the figure for 2007 (455). 

John Finnie MSP, Justice spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, and Co-Convenor of Holyrood’s Cross Party Group on Drug and Alcohol Misuse, said:

“These figures are the strongest evidence yet that the Scottish Government needs to deliver a serious overhaul of its drugs strategy, rather than just refreshing an approach that is obviously failing or taking the doomed Tory approach of fighting a ‘war on drugs’ that only serves to further punish communities. We need a joined-up approach that focuses on individual circumstances such as housing, health and income – all of these factors relate to this growing tragedy. And we cannot shy away from a discussion on decriminalisation, as most drug use should be tackled as a public health issue rather than a crime.

“There will be regressive voices in politics calling for an inhumane approach, failing to acknowledge their own role in visiting poverty upon our communities. But Scotland is better than that, and we must ensure evidence and logic prevail, and that we invest in our communities to prevent drug-related deaths.”




Get involved

More like this

Plans for public toilets and water fountains backed by MSPs

Wed 19 Sep, 2018

Councils could soon be obliged to consider how the provision of public toilets and water fountains could be improved after a Green MSP’s amendments to the planning bill were backed by a Holyrood committee today.

Johnstone concerned at high level of delayed discharges in hospital

Tue 11 Sep, 2018

Alison Johnstone, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Lothian, today (11 Sep) expressed concern at the high level of delayed discharges - people stuck in hospital beds awaiting social care.

Despite a 6 per cent drop across Scotland between 2016-17 and 2017-18 to 494,123 delayed discharge bed days, this still represents 1 in 13 hospital beds occupied by people who are waiting for home care arrangements or a care home placement.

Tackling housing, diet & low incomes crucial to ease strain on 70-year-old NHS

Thu 5 Jul, 2018

Fixing the problems of damp, cold housing, poor diet and low incomes are crucial if Scotland is to ease the strain on the 70-year-old National Health Service, according to Scottish Greens health spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP.

Marking today's anniversary of the creation of the NHS, Alison said:

"There is much that we can learn from the history of our health service. If we want to ensure that every generation looks forward to better health than the last, we have to renew the sense of collective care and ambition that was central to the NHS's founding 70 years ago.