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29 December 2005

Drugs Problem Requires Unified Approach

SNP Deputy Shadow Justice Minister, Stewart Stevenson MSP, today (Thursday) called for the Executive to make a New Year’s resolution to adopt a more consensual and unified approach to tackling Scotland’s drugs problem.

Mr Stevenson said:

“The fact that Scotland has 51,000 intravenous drug users clearly underlines the fact that we must raise our game so as many people as possible are given the opportunity to kick the habit.

“This can only be done if we draw together all the strands of the fight against drugs into one unified approach. We must pay heed to what drug addicts are telling us- that they want to beat their addiction and forge a life without drugs.

“No more than one in 20 drugs users wants to stabilise their condition through the likes of methadone. This means we must make greater commitment to programmes that will wean addicts away from their addiction and promote long-term abstinence.

“We must also promote inter-agency work and information sharing to ensure a more effective and unified approaching to tackling this problem.

“The Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency recently called for greater resources, and we must ensure this call is answered. We must also hit the drug barons where it hurts - in the pocket.

“We must do more to seize the assets of drug dealers and redirect the funds into the fight against drugs in our communities. We must also ensure that a range of options is available to suit the different needs of different addicts. We cannot allow another generation of Scots to fall into drug addiction.”
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