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MSP urges new approach to drugs crisis

By Alan Beresford

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A NORTH-east MSP has called for a change in the way drug misuse is handled in Scotland.

North East Scottish Green party MSP Maggie Chapman.
North East Scottish Green party MSP Maggie Chapman.

The plea, made by North East Green MSP Maggie, comes as new statistics from National Records of Scotland show there were 160 drugs-related deaths across the north-east last year.

The figures showed that across Scotland a record 1339 drug deaths were recorded in 2020, meaning Scotland once again has the highest rate of drug deaths in Europe.

Ms Chapman said: “[These] tragic figures are yet another reminder of the devastating impact drug misuse has on communities in the north-east and across Scotland.

"Every single one of these deaths is a preventable tragedy and my thoughts...are with the loved ones of those we have lost to this crisis.

“The approach to drugs, pursued by both the UK and Scottish governments, must change. The war on drugs has demonstrably failed, it’s long past time we treated this crisis as the public health emergency that it is. It is time for an approach which focuses on restoring people’s dignity and treating their addiction, rather than criminalising them.

“While long term plans are now being developed to tackle this crisis, they come far too late for many. And for those in crisis now, they need to see urgent action, not more empty words.”

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