Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton has today warned SNP claims to be tackling soaring drug deaths fly in the face of years of real terms cuts to drug and alcohol partnerships as a freedom of information request published by the government revealed £47 million in real terms cuts between 2014/15 and 2018/19.
Commenting on the figures, Mr Cole-Hamilton said:
“The SNP cannot claim to putting their shoulder to the wheel when they have inflicted years of real terms cuts to the money available to save lives and help people move past drug and alcohol misuse.
“Scotland has the worst record for drug deaths in Europe but, at the same time as arguing for extra powers, the SNP are ignoring critical policy options that are already within their possession. They must immediately commit to an above inflation expansion in support for these services, making up for their years of cuts.
“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.”