Macdonald: Drug death figures show need for effective treatment

Responding to the latest drug deaths statistics, which show an increase in the number of drug deaths, Scottish Labour’s Lewis Macdonald MSP, said:

Lewis Macdonald MSP“It is important to remember that these figures represent a death and in almost half the cases, it is a parent who has died. Each of these deaths is a tragedy. They also show what we have been concerned about for quite some time: the number of drug deaths in Scotland continues to rise and the trend is deeply worrying.

“It is clear that many of those who are dying have been in contact with organisations that could and should be referring drug users to treatment. If people are leaving prison and are dying soon afterwards, then there is something wrong with how we deal with prisoners upon their release.

“The figures also show that methadone is being abused by hardened drug users. While methadone is a valuable way of stabilising drug use, it can’t be seen to be the only solution for drug addiction. We need to crack down on the abuse of methadone in our communities.

“We need treatment that works – and we’re still waiting for the SNP Government to tell us how they’re going to improve what is currently in place. The longer we wait, the more people are dying.”



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One thought on “Macdonald: Drug death figures show need for effective treatment

  1. Yes, it is time for new initiatives on drug misuse.

    In former times, those suffering from communicable diseases (for example,Scarlet Fever and TB) were cared for in sanatoria, where they recieved treatment for their illness and at the same time potential contagion was removed from their communities. This model could be adopted for drug abusers, whose addiction is a disease which is as intractable and as infectious as these earlier complaints.

    Drug addiction sufferers could be required to live at comfortable locations with stimulating programmes they would receive clinical heroin or undertake rehab programmes according to their individual needs. They could be required and permitted to stay there until they could prove that their wellness was sufficient to permit them to re-enter society.

    Drugs sanatoria would resemble luxury resorts, but would still be less expensive than the current failing sytem.

    The current position removes addicts from communities, except that they are criminalised by imprisonment (instead of receiving sympathy as ill people), receive insufficient treatment and usually return to a life of depedency – not only on drugs but also on criminality.

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