Scottish Conservative and Unionist MSP Sue Webber has called on the SNP to do more to tackle drug deaths in Scotland, and introduce a Right to Recovery to enshrine in law that everyone has access to the necessary addiction treatment.
The drug death rate has almost tripled under the SNP’s watch and the SNP should be ashamed of their record. Drug related hospitalisations have tripled in the past two decades. The drugs-hospitalisation rate in Scotland now stands at 282 per 100,000 people, up from 87 per 100,000 people in 1997. In the Lothian health board region, the number of people dying following drug use rose from 53 in 2007 to 155 in 2019. The First Minister completely failed to act before this crisis spiralled out of control.
The Scottish Conservatives secured an extra £20m a year for residential drug rehab facilities. The measures were announced as part of a £250million package over 5 years, aimed at tackling Scotland’s shocking drug death figures.
Addiction services have been subjected to disinvestment for at least the past 15 years and services have struggled to retain staff. This continues to be is a huge problem. The Scottish Conservative committed in their manifesto to prioritising abstinence-based programmes and will continue to appeal for cross-party support to tackle drug deaths by opening up access to treatment and rehabilitation programmes.
Scottish Conservative and Unionist MSP Sue Webber said: “Drugs deaths have become Scotland’s national tragedy under the SNP. After nearly 14 years in power, the SNP have finally admitted that they should have done more to tackle Scotland’s scandalous rate of drug deaths. By Nicola Sturgeon’s own admission, she took her eye off the ball.
“Families have been failed and entire communities have been left broken. The SNP must take action and deliver support to those who need it.”