Drug Deaths

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 17th December 2020.

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Photo of Ruth Davidson Ruth Davidson Conservative

That was a really long way of saying it, but the First Minister is right to say that, today, to get rehab, people need to be really lucky and get charity help, or they need to be wealthy enough to afford it, because the Government provides only 13 per cent of rehab beds in Scotland.

The First Minister’s own report says that people can be on a rehab waiting list for a year. Charities cannot do this on their own. Jericho house does not get a penny and warns that its position is unsustainable. It runs three facilities, including the only residential rehab centre in Dundee, which has now overtaken Glasgow as Europe’s drug death capital. Not that it is much better in Glasgow. A year ago, the Mungo Foundation’s cothrom eile rehab service closed for good. That service was in the First Minister’s constituency.

In 2006, Nicola Sturgeon stood where I am—right on this spot—berating the then Scottish Government for cutting rehab funding. In fact, she went further, claiming that it showed why Scotland needed a new Government. If cuts to rehab funding were to be condemned in 2006, as they should have been, why does the First Minister think that they should be accepted now?