‘Avoidable drug deaths’ in Clydebank plea to politicians

Posted: 8th September 2021

Politicians are being urged to show leadership and play a bigger role in tackling the surge of drug addictions in West Dunbartonshire.

Statistics show that while the number of drug related deaths dropped from 32 to 29 in West Dunbartonshire between 2019 and 2020, this was still the second highest rate in Scotland.

Labour leader councillor Martin Rooney presented a motion at a full council meeting which asked members to agree that people with addictions had been badly let down by the Scottish Government.

He said: “We need to show leadership and play a bigger role in tackling the surge of addictions in West Dunbartonshire.

“We know that drug deaths have increased exponentially under the SNP government.

In Scotland 1,339 lives have been lost since 2020 alone which means that Scotland has had the highest drug death rate in Europe for the last seven years in a row.

“This is the highest ever recorded level and the highest record of drug related deaths since records began in 1996.

“These are not just statistics, these are sons, daughters, brothers and sisters, a friend or companion.

“Many of the victims will have been parents and grandparents and the despair extends beyond our statistics.”

But independent Clydebank councillor Bailie Denis Agnew said he was unhappy with the political tone of Cllr Rooney’s motion and proposed an amendment.

It read: “The Scottish Government has accepted its part in failing to tackle the [drug] problem.

“Since December 2020 they have committed to spending a quarter of a million pounds on addressing the emergency over the next five years with their immediate plan of getting more people treatment.

“The council calls on elected representatives across parliament and local councils to address the drugs emergency in Scotland and the UK.”

Following the discussion the majority of members backed Bailie Agnew’s amendment.

Source: Clydebank Post, September 2021

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