Drug Deaths

– in the Scottish Parliament on 31st October 2019.

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Photo of Annie Wells Annie Wells Conservative

It has been four months since we heard that 1,187 people in Scotland died from drugs last year. I lost my neighbour; other people have lost friends, mothers and whole families. I cannot believe that I am saying this, but things are getting even worse. STV news revealed this week that the number of residential rehabilitation beds in Glasgow is down from 52 to just 14. When are we going to stop just talking about this and start acting?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

That is a hugely important issue. I do not believe that it is the case that we are simply talking and not acting. The Government is taking a range of actions, not least increasing funding for alcohol and drug treatment services, which can be used as appropriate to build services in different areas. We have also established the drug death task force, which is tasked with coming up with further steps and solutions that we require to take.

The Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing is overseeing all that work and remains willing to discuss it and to meet members from across the chamber as, collectively, we address an issue that must be addressed for the reasons that all of us understand only too well.