Tue 16 Jul, 2019

Both the Scottish and UK Governments must take urgent action to tackle Scotland’s drugs death emergency following new figures [1], which revealed there were 1,187 drug deaths in 2018 according to Scottish Greens MSP John Finnie. 

The figures represent a 27% increase of the 2017, which were themselves record setting, and mean Scotland continues to have the highest rate of drugs deaths in Europe.

John Finnie MSP said:

“We’ve known for some time that Scotland is in the grip of a drugs death crisis but these figures are still absolutely shocking. To see such a drastic rise in deaths on what were already record setting figures is harrowing.

“When it comes to drugs, criminalisation has caused more harm than it can claim to have prevented. The ‘war on drugs’ approach has self-evidently failed. Addiction is better tackled by trained medical professionals, not with the strong arm of the law, and dangerous substances need to be taken out of the hands of gangsters.

“It’s clear that the current approach to drugs from both the Scottish and UK Governments is not working. If we are to avoid seeing thousands more lives tragically lost then we must immediately adopt an evidence-based approach by for example permitting interventions such as supervised drug consumption facilities."

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Scotland's drug deaths are a national emergency

John Finnie MSP Tue 16 Jul, 2019

It is shocking to see Scotland with the one of the worst drug death rates in the world.

From tackling heroin and the AIDS threat in the 1990s to minimum unit pricing on alcohol, Scotland has a track record in harm reduction, which prioritises the health and safety of our people over moral judgement.

It's needed now more than ever.

We have seen London take an interest in Scotland’s approach to knife crime. Hopefully now the UK Government will take notice of progressive thinking on drugs policy, but I have my doubts.

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John Finnie MSP said:

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