Responding to comments from Public Health minister Joe Fitzpatrick in which he suggested Scottish drugs deaths in 2018 may be as high as 1,200, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP commented:
"There has already been a devastating increase in drug-related hospital stays and deaths in recent years. For this to further deteriorate is a damning indictment of the failure of drugs policy in Scotland and indeed the UK.
“Scottish Liberal Democrats have set out a clear, practical plan for how to turn this around, including protecting drug and alcohol partnership budgets, sending people to treatment instead of prison, and establishing proposals for a Scotland-wide network for the provision of heroin-assisted treatment.
“Most importantly we need to see the decriminalisation of the possession of drugs for personal use so that people can seek treatment without being afraid they will end up in prison.”