Responding to new figures showing that there were 1,187 drugs deaths in Scotland in 2018, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton said:
“Scotland now has the worst drugs death crisis in the developed world.
“Scottish drugs policy has utterly failed. Here and across the UK, we need an immediate change of course.
“Services can’t afford a repeat of the 20% cut ministers made in 2016/17 - a mistake they are still recovering from.
“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. A crisis like this requires bold thinking, otherwise the deaths will continue to pile up.”