Alex Cole-Hamilton: cuts to drug treatment funding will not help users kick their habits

Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton today warned that cuts to drug and alcohol treatment services will not help drug users kick their habits as new figures revealed that more than 12,000 people were assessed for drug treatment services last year.

The Scottish Drugs Misuse Database (SMDM)annual report showed 12,402 individuals were assessed for specialist drug treatment in 2014/15. An increasing percentage of individuals recorded on SDMD were from older age groups; in 2006/07, almost one-third (30%) of individuals assessed for specialist drug treatment were aged 35 and over, compared with almost half (48%) in 2014/15.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

"These figures show the scale of the drugs challenge that we still face in Scotland. Unless we treat drug addiction as the health issue it is, we will not help those users who often find themselves trapped in the criminal justice system.

"The cuts that we saw to drug and alcohol services in the last budget will not help us reduce Scotland's drug habit or ensure that vulnerable people can access the health treatment they need."

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