South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has said that the Scottish Government’s Drug Strategy is failing after drug related death figures showed a 69% increase in deaths in the Borders in one year.

The latest figures published by the National Records of Scotland show that in 2018 there were 22 drug related deaths in the Borders. This was an increase of 69% from the 13 deaths in 2017.

Colin Smyth has said that that the Scottish Drug Strategy just isn’t working and that urgent action must be taken.

Colin Smyth said, “Drug related deaths in the Borders have tragically been increasing over the last decade, but a 69% increase in just one year is deeply disturbing. Behind these figures are devastated mother, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters who have lost a loved one.

It is clear that the Scottish Government’s Drug Strategy just isn’t working and it is time the Scottish Government use every power available to them to tackle Scotland’s drug problem. That means looking at new approaches, investing in services and ditching the failing status quo. The UK Government must also reassess its approach and listen to experts and those living with substance misuse to find the best way to stop more families being left heartbroken.”

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