Responding to new analysis of Scotland's record number of drug-related deaths, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP commented:
“It is heartbreaking to learn that 464 children lost a parent or parental figure in 2016 as a result of a drug-related death. It is time that Scotland learned from the lessons of other countries that have taken radical steps to reduce unnecessary and tragic drug-related deaths.
“Under the SNP we have seen dramatic cuts to drug and alcohol services and existing drug law enforcement strategies are failing.
“Common sense policies, such as the provision of heroin assisted treatment and sending people who misuse drugs for treatment rather than to prison, are positive ways of reducing harm to individuals and society.
"These meaures would help to prevent unnecessary deaths, alleviate the burden on our NHS and free up the justice system to tackle the people and organised crime groups producing and dealing drugs."