Drugs Strategy

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 10 March 2016.

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Photo of Duncan McNeil Duncan McNeil Labour

I thank the minister for his response, and I welcome his statement that there is no complacency—nor should there be. According to the Information Services Division, there are currently 61,000 problem drug users in Scotland, which is up from 2009-10. The number of people being prescribed methadone has increased over the piece, drug possession levels remain unchanged, and the number of people being admitted to hospital for drug issues continues to rise.

Given the economic and social cost of the problem of drug use, which, according to the Scottish Government’s own figures, amounts to £3.2 billion a year, is it not time to listen to new voices and new ideas and to push for radical change in Scotland’s drug policy?