Scottish Conservative and Unionist MSP for Lothian, Miles Briggs, has expressed his ‘deep concern’ at the latest suspected drug deaths figures in Edinburgh City.
Mr. Briggs’ call comes following the release of new statistics showing that the number of deaths suspected to have been lost to drugs between October and December last year was 295 across Scotland.
That was the highest quarterly figure since the quarter between April and June 2021 when 329 deaths were recorded.
In Edinburgh City, there were 21 suspected deaths in the final three months of 2022.
The number of suspected drug deaths in Edinburgh City in 2022 as a whole stands at 113, an increase of 16 from 97 in 2021.
Miles Briggs says that drugs-death epidemic is Scotland’s national shame and one of the worst failings of Nicola Sturgeon’s time as First Minister.
Mr. Briggs added the figures only reaffirm the need for the SNP-Green government to finally back the Scottish Conservatives’ Right to Recovery Bill.
It has been backed by frontline experts and would guarantee access to treatment for everyone in Edinburgh City who needs it.
Scottish Conservative and Unionist MSP Miles Briggs said: “The rise in suspected drug deaths in the past year in Edinburgh City are a matter of deep concern.
“The fatality rate in Scotland continues to be the worst in Europe by far and drug deaths remain one of the worst legacies of Nicola Sturgeon’s tenure as First Minister. Scotland’s shame is the government’s inability to confront the country’s drug death epidemic.
“The First Minister took her eye off the ball. Now lives lost to the scourge of drugs in Edinburgh City are on the increase again and heading in the wrong direction.
“For all the rhetoric and grandstanding in the SNP’s bitter televised leadership debates, it is an insult to the lives lost that the scandal of drugs deaths barely warrants a mention.
“Whoever emerges victorious from that race must give their full backing to the Scottish Conservatives’ Right to Recovery Bill.
“This has been backed by experts in the field of addiction and would guarantee access to treatment for everyone who needs it in Edinburgh City.”