Prime Minister Challenged on Record Number of Drug Deaths

By Reporter, The HighLand Times, Thursday July 19 2018

Alison Thewliss MP (pictured) has challenged the Prime Minister over the rising number of drug-related deaths, and criticised the UK government's refusal to introduce safe drug consumption rooms in order to save lives.

At PMQs, the Glasgow Central MP raised statistics published by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) this month, which revealed that in 2017, 934 drug-related deaths occurred in Scotland - 8% more than in 2016.

Of the 934 deaths, 280 were registered in the Glasgow area alone.

Earlier this year, Alison Thewliss MP brought forward a Ten-Minute Rule Bill, asking the UK government to make a legal exemption to allow for a Safer Drug Consumption Facility (SDCF) to be piloted in Glasgow.

To date, no exemption has been granted.

Commenting, Alison Thewliss MP said:

"These latest numbers are truly devastating, and represent yet another year-on-year increase in drug-related deaths in Scotland.

"Drug deaths and drug injecting in Glasgow are out of control.

“Glasgow City Council know it, the Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership know it, as do other medical professionals and drug charities, yet the UK government wilfully continues to ignore the wealth of evidence that is being presented on this issue.

"On an almost daily basis I hear stories of families not being able to allow their children out to play due to the presence of drug paraphernalia, and of the shocking effects of the latest HIV outbreak in the Glasgow area that continues unabated as a result of drug injecting.

"Glasgow has a forward-thinking plan that could help tackle this issue, and give hope to those who are failing to engage with the services currently on offer.

“We are not asking for drug laws to be overhauled, we are asking for a small change to allow a pilot.

"How many more families must be devastated by this scourge before the Prime Minister takes action?"



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