Responding to the latest drug deaths statistics, which show an increase in the number of drug deaths, Scottish Labour’s Lewis Macdonald MSP, said:

Lewis Macdonald MSP“It is important to remember that these figures represent a death and in almost half the cases, it is a parent who has died. Each of these deaths is a tragedy. They also show what we have been concerned about for quite some time: the number of drug deaths in Scotland continues to rise and the trend is deeply worrying.

“It is clear that many of those who are dying have been in contact with organisations that could and should be referring drug users to treatment. If people are leaving prison and are dying soon afterwards, then there is something wrong with how we deal with prisoners upon their release.

“The figures also show that methadone is being abused by hardened drug users. While methadone is a valuable way of stabilising drug use, it can’t be seen to be the only solution for drug addiction. We need to crack down on the abuse of methadone in our communities.

“We need treatment that works – and we’re still waiting for the SNP Government to tell us how they’re going to improve what is currently in place. The longer we wait, the more people are dying.”