Change in approach needed to tackle drug problem

Angela with parliamentary colleagues from Westminster and Lisbon.

Following a visit to Frankfurt and Lisbon with the Health Select Committee, Angela Crawley has backed a change in approach to tackling drug addiction.

The Parliamentary delegation evaluated the drug policies in both Germany and Portugal who have introduced different measures to tackling addiction.

In Germany they legalised safe-consumption rooms and Portugal decriminalised drugs.

The visit follows news that the number of drug-related deaths in Scotland reached 1,187 last year, according to official statistics.

Despite positive developments as a result the Scottish Government’s Alcohol and Drug Strategy, Scotland is facing an emergency over the increase of drug-related deaths.

The local MP has called for a public health approach to drug policy and backed the idea of safe consumption rooms.

Commenting, Angela said:

“To tackle the scourge of drug use facing communities we must treat people and all their complex needs, not just addiction but tackle the inequalities and traumas behind substance misuse.

“The Scottish Government has called for the devolution of powers over drug laws so that new emergency measures can be implemented.

“One such proposition expected to save lives is a supervised drug consumption facility in Glasgow, however this was blocked by the UK government despite receiving support from the Scottish Parliament.

“Drug deaths aren’t unique to the UK, but elsewhere they’ve prompted an evidence-based response to try and save lives.

“In Germany we heard of similar problems which paved the way for sanctioned Drug Consumption Rooms.

“The UK Government must recognise that Scotland faces an emergency and if they won’t take action, they must give us the power to stop further unnecessary deaths.” f