Under this SNP Government, drug-related deaths have spiralled out of control. In 2020, there were 1,339 drug-related deaths in Scotland, the rate being 3.5 times that of the rest of the UK and higher than any other European country.
While we welcome very belated recognition from SNP ministers that this national shame needs to be properly tackled and resourced, it’s clear that there is much more to do. That’s why we have introduced a Right to Recovery Bill to the Scottish Parliament, which would ensure that everybody who seeks treatment for addiction to drugs is able to access the necessary treatment they require. In short, our Bill would provide a statutory right to addiction and recovery treatment services.
In terms of drug consumption rooms specifically, the Scottish Conservatives will not oppose their introduction, even though we have serious reservations about their operation. Drug consumption rooms are no silver bullet and they won’t solve the problem alone. While we won’t oppose a pilot scheme, we do feel it is legitimate to ask for more evidence on their use before we can endorse any proposals.