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‘Alarm’ at latest drug death figures for DG

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By Charles Fletcher
Front
‘Alarm’ at latest drug death figures for DG

DRUG abuse has claimed the lives of a further 12 people in Dumfries and Galloway.

The latest available figures reveal the grim tally of 38 drug-related deaths across the region in the first nine months of 2021.

That compares to 29 deaths over the full year of 2020.

Galloway and West Conservative MSP Finlay Carson said drug deaths are a “national shame” for Scotland.

And these latest figures, he said, are “alarming”, adding: “It is now increasingly important that the Scottish Government backs plans for a Right to Recovery Bill. This would enshrine in law access to treatment for those who need it.”

Mr Carson warned drug deaths are “Scotland’s national shame and still appear to be hitting our rural and deprived communities the hardest”.

He said he is willing to fight for greater resources to tackle the issue and will personally ensure the response happens quickly.

“We cannot continue to lose people through drugs. We are talking about human lives,” said the MSP.

“Clearly more still needs to be done here in Dumfries and Galloway.”

Meanwhile, South Scotland SNP MSP Emma Harper notes that “serious action is under way” to tackle drug deaths at a cross party level.

She said: “It is also encouraging that the UK Government is now, finally, looking at proposals which the Scottish Government put forward to allow safe drug consumption rooms.”

The Scottish Government is investing £2.3 million over the next three years in Health Improvement Scotland to help ensure people are treated for physical addiction and related mental health.

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