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

I agree about the range of interventions that need to be made, but cutting the number of fully funded rehab beds in Scotland to just 22 is not one of them.

Let me give the context. The rest of the United Kingdom and half of Europe do not have consumption rooms, which I know is a preferred policy of the Government; they also do not have this number of deaths. Drug classifications are the same everywhere in these islands. The “Trainspotting” generation theory has been busted because the number of young people dying has doubled in the past two years. The thing that is different about Scotland, because it is entirely devolved, is drug treatment and rehabilitation, and that is what this Government has cut to the bone.

People on the front line—the charities that are working with drug users—are calling for an immediate extra £20 million in ring-fenced rehab funding, just to make up for the past 13 years of cuts. Will the First Minister commit to that today, so that next year we do not see a repeat of these horrendous figures, or possibly figures that are even worse?