Briggs calls for an ‘ask once get help’ strategy for drug addiction in Scotland
SNP Ministers are failing to address the drug crisis facing many people in Scotland.
For many people early intervention has failed them in the past and that the opportunity to access early pathways to support and recovery were simply not good enough or not available.
In a number of cases visits to GP Surgeries or other Support Services had been met with a response of individuals not being enough of a problematic drug user to merit a referral to specialist support service.
Miles believes that we need to see a new approach and like with the Government’s aspiration on Mental Health, the Scottish Government need to develop an ask once get help strategy for drug addiction in Scotland.
Miles gave particular praise to Lothian’s and Edinburgh Abstinence Project, which is a programme for up to twenty people who want to stop drinking or using drugs, with support for up to two years afterwards.
The SNP Governments 2008 The Road to Recovery strategy has now been in place for 10 years, during which time drug deaths have increased by over 50 per cent.
Recent figures show drug deaths in Scotland are running at two-and-a-half times the rate of the rest of the UK.
867 people in Scotland died after using illegal or prescription drugs in 2016, 23 per cent more than the previous year.
Miles Briggs comments:
“I’d like to pay tribute and praise all those who work in our Drug & Alcohol Partnerships across Scotland.
“However, I cannot honestly stand here today and say I think we as a Country have got this right, or that the SNP Scottish Government’s proposal to simply re-fresh the strategy is what is needed today or is in anyway good enough.
“Above all we are failing to give hope to those who have an addiction and their families and friends, that a genuine pathway to recovery is available and is achievable and will be delivered.
“That is why we need a sector led review of all drugs policies in Scotland, we need to look towards how we can truly create recovery focussed pathways.