Education vital to stem rise in drug deaths

Lindsay Roy MP
Lindsay Roy MP

FIFE is contributing to a tragic growing trend of drug-related deaths in Scotland.

Figures released last week show that, in 2011, 584 people were registered as having died with the underlying cause being drugs.

The Kingdom contributed 34 tragic cases to that total, a staggering rise from just 11 a decade ago.

Across Scotland the total is more than in any previous year and an increase of 99 (20 per cent) compared with 2010.

Heroin, alcohol and diazepam were among the contributors to the totals in Fife.

Levenmouth MP Lindsay Roy told the Mail that he felt a programme of education was the way forward to tackling the blight of drugs.

He said: “Every death from illegal drugs is a death too many.

“Illegal drugs are a scourge on our society and they cause untold misery and suffering, both to users and their families.

“The police do their best to catch dealers and suppliers, but their resources are stretched and there is only so much they can do.

“Likewise, the various agencies who work with drug addicts do a wonderful job, but once again there is a limit on just how much help and advice they can provide.

“I’m not convinced that more money is the answer in either case: perhaps what’s really needed is a more robust national programme education aimed at persuading young people not to get involved with drugs in the first place.”

After the figures were revealed on Friday, the Scottish Government’s Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, Roseanna Cunningham, said efforts to support those affected by drug abuse would continue.

She said that £28.6m would be invested in front-line drug treatment and recovery services in 2012/13.

The driving down of waiting times for treatment was also noted as a priority.