Drug Treatment Services

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:07 pm on 16th July 2019.

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Photo of Alison Thewliss Alison Thewliss Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Treasury), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government) 5:07 pm, 16th July 2019

I am glad that Jeff Smith secured this debate, because it is very timely for Glasgow and for Scotland more widely.

Let me start by saying that every single one of the 1,187 deaths last year is a tragedy—a tragedy for the families who lost a loved one and, as Mr Sweeney said, a tragedy because of the potential that was lost as a result of that person passing away. We should bear those people in mind whenever we talk about drugs policy.

Ideally, I want those people, who have an illness, to be able to get medical help as if they had any other illness. If they had cancer, we would not stigmatise the cancer drug that kept them well. That is what methadone does—it supports people and stabilises their lives.