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Drug deaths up over 20% in one Scotland

(90 Posts)
paddyann Tue 16-Jul-19 19:52:07

I have no idea what the figures are for England Wales or NI but the figures in Scotland are truly shocking .Isn't it time we approached drugs in a different way? The Scottish government had plans for drug rooms where people could use their drugs under medical supervision.Its something that has been proven to work in other countroies throughout the world including Spain and Canada.However "drugs" isn't a devolved issue so we cant go ahead with it without WM's say so and they say NO .Drug policy is clearly not working .
Doesn't it make sense to try a different approach and give users a chance to find a way out of drugs or at least not end up dead .What do you think?Should Westminster "allow" us to make our own policy on drugs ? We've had a good measure of success with crime down over 40% in recent years and knife crime in particular in 2017 there wasn't even ONE death from Stabbing in Glasgow ,so why not leave us to find a solution to drugs.Always supposing WM wants to find a solution!

Calendargirl Tue 16-Jul-19 19:55:34

I think it said on the news that Scotland’s deaths were far higher than the rest of the UK combined.

paddyann Tue 16-Jul-19 20:50:58

1200 deaths in one year is 1200 too many .We have to be "allowed" to take charge of this and find a solution .Westminters way isn't working

SirChenjin Tue 16-Jul-19 21:20:47

Drugs isn’t a devolved issue? In what way?

And as Calendar says - Westminster seems to be doing a lot better than the SG on this issue

SirChenjin Tue 16-Jul-19 21:22:37

Oh - and you’ll be glad to know that the SG and national bodies and agencies are meeting very soon to discuss how to deal with this issue.

FarNorth Tue 16-Jul-19 21:38:52

"Last year, more than two-thirds of drug-related deaths [in Scotland] were aged between 35 and 54."

That is an interesting article, showing the many factors involved.
For instance, the deaths of people, especially men, in a slightly older age group - referred to as the 'Trainspotting generation'.
Clearly drug use is higher in deprived areas. It could be useful to see the figures for similar areas in the rest of the UK.

EllanVannin Tue 16-Jul-19 21:47:02

End the deprivation would be a start.

FarNorth Tue 16-Jul-19 21:57:07

It would, EllanVannin.
Comparing figures for similar areas would be more useful than just saying "Westminster is doing better than Scotland." though, as there are so many factors involved.

Anniebach Tue 16-Jul-19 22:03:47

Every thing cannot be blamed on poverty ,

FarNorth Tue 16-Jul-19 22:07:57

Hence many factors Annie.

FarNorth Tue 16-Jul-19 22:09:44

"SNP MP Alison Thewliss has campaigned vigorously for the opening of a Supervised Drug Consumption Facility (SDCF) in her constituency – where there is a significant drug-injecting population – but the Home Office has so far refused to grant the necessary legal exemptions to allow any facility to operate."

paddyann Tue 16-Jul-19 22:11:31

there were 2500 deaths from drugs in England in the same period ,so while per capita its higher in Scotland the numbers are still very high south of the border .Drugs .. all drugs are controlled by the home office ,so when Medical Cannabis was discussed in Holyrood although we gave it the green light we aren;t "allowed " to prescribe it without Home Office approval ,the same when we discussed legalising cannabis .The westminster/home office way of dealing with drug use..their famous "war on drugs" doesn't work and we need to take a different approach as discussed by Holyrood last year .Meantime we have to still go down the criminalise the drug user and prosecute them route and that clearly doesn't work .
Of course you are right Annie not everything can be blamed on poverty BUT it has been proven that people from deprived backgrounds are more likely to be heavy alcohol and drug users .We cant wipe out poverty in one fell swoop but we could make a difference by changing how we deal with addicts

EllanVannin Tue 16-Jul-19 22:17:12

Suppliers---dealers and the drug barons. Where do the police fit in with all this in tracking these people down ?

petra Tue 16-Jul-19 22:23:46

Portugal de-criminalised taking drugs 20 yrs ago and have gone from the country in Europe with the most drug related deaths to one of the lowest.
The uk will never ever go down this route. It's not going to get any better sad

paddyann Tue 16-Jul-19 22:25:29

this isn't ABOUT drug barons its about people already hooked and how to either get them off it or help them to use it safely .Filling prisons with drug users is clearly madness ,it puts a strain on those resources and give the user access to career criminals which makes the situation worse .Keeping them out of jail and giving them the RIGHT help surely makes sense ?

SueDonim Tue 16-Jul-19 22:28:05

Scotland has many more drugs deaths because it has many more drug users than elsewhere. It would be useful in the first place to look into why that is so. I don't buy the deprivation argument. Plenty of other areas in the UK suffer deprivation but they don't have the same rate of drug use. What's behind that?

It's laughable that the SNP are blaming Westminster when it's the SNP that has presided over the doubling of the death rate while they have had sole powers over health and justice for the last decade. It's their policies and strategies that are at fault, the closing-the-stable-door-after-the-horse-has-bolted drug consumption room issue is a red herring, trying to deflect blame from a problem of their own creation.

Fwiw, I support some sort of decriminalising of drugs, which seems to work in other countries.

EllanVannin Tue 16-Jul-19 22:31:03

There has to be a source of supply in order to keep these people hooked ?

EllanVannin Tue 16-Jul-19 22:32:30

So why aren't the suppliers being caught ?

SueDonim Tue 16-Jul-19 23:04:00

I'd reccomend reading Good Cop, Bad War by Neil Woods if you want to understand more about the drugs scene in the U.K. He was undercover police at one time and his stories are hair-raising.

Grannyknot Wed 17-Jul-19 06:56:11

SueD I also read Neil Woods' book, puts a completely different slant on the so-called 'war on drugs'. Certainly, when one drug dealer is taken off the streets, others simply take over that patch. Then there is the aspect that no one likes to acknowledge, namely crooked cops.

Deprived areas in the UK are not far behind Scotland when it comes to drug deaths. Middlesbrough for example, or Redcar, Blackpool. In fact, sadly, many of the coastal towns are the worst off.

Riverwalk Wed 17-Jul-19 07:15:44

Petra interesting that you mention Portugal - just last week a Portuguese colleague talked about this.

From what I understand the de-criminalising was accompanied by a comprehensive programme of needle exchange, social care, HIV prevention etc., and treating the addict as a sufferer not a criminal, and this is why the number of deaths has decreased dramatically.

However the use of drugs has stayed the same, and in some categories risen.

gillybob Wed 17-Jul-19 07:22:52

I think that many people take drugs and overuse alcohol as a means of temporarily blocking out their reality and I can completely understand this. Imagine you have nothing to look forward to, nothing to aspire to, nowhere to go, no one who cares ? How easy would it be to “make friends” with drugs who might give you some temporary relief from a hopeless situation?

It can’t all be put down to deprivation (although obviously that is a factor) as I live in one of the most deprived areas in the country and we do not have a drug problem .

LullyDully Wed 17-Jul-19 08:03:59

Many years ago I went on a course run by the Police. They argued for decriminalization. They said that someone can lead a normal life taking " clean" drugs rather than the cut drugs on the street. I don't know a lot about drugs but they are the root of so much crime, death and misery that we needed to find new, radical ways to tackle their use and abuse.

Davidhs Wed 17-Jul-19 08:32:00

Decriminalization would make life much easier for the police but will do nothing to solve the root problem which is hopelessness leading to poverty. It begins in schools where children are not educated to go into employment leading to migrants taking the jobs.

This is just a relevant in deprived areas where lack of work, a life on benefits and no purpose in life. In my area anyone who will turn up on time and do the job has employment and we have lots of migrants as well. I’m not surprised that young people get depressed and turn to drugs, their life expectations are unrealistically increased by the schools.

If you dispute that, why else are 40% of graduates not doing graduate work.

Anniebach Wed 17-Jul-19 08:47:23

Many young people do not want manual work, immigrants do.