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14 December 2005

STEVENSON ON DRUG MISUSE STATS

Commenting today (Wednesday) on new Executive statistics on drug misuse in Scotland, SNP Deputy Shadow Justice Minister, Stewart Stevenson MSP, said:

“I generally welcome these figures as the fight on drugs should not be seen as a partisan issue. However, this is just one piece of the information jigsaw on drugs and the Executive is still operating in a knowledge vacuum when it comes to Scotland’s drug scene.

“There is a ‘golden moment’ when addicts want to give up their habit and we must do everything we can to help addicts seize this opportunity. The Executive, however, does not know what the ratio is of people wishing to enter a methadone maintenance treatment programme to places available.

“Recent figures from January to March 2005 show 149 addicts had to wait between 6-12 months to enter a Prescribed Drug Treatment Programme, which means we could miss that golden opportunity. We must ensure that drug users are able to access the appropriate care and assistance as quickly as possible.”

Stewart Stevenson
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