Moray MP Douglas Ross has called for action following the publication of the latest drugs death statistics by the Official National Records of Scotland which show there were 1,330 drug-related deaths in Scotland in 2021 – nearly four times worse than Norway which is the highest in Europe and five times worse than England or Wales.
Douglas said: “The fact that more people died from a drugs-related cause in 2021 in Scotland than in any other country in Europe is absolutely shocking and we must act now to prevent this toll continuing to increase.
“Here in Moray 17 people died last year – which is heart-breaking for all those families who lost a loved one – and my heart goes out to them.
“We know that nothing can bring a loved one back, but the SNP-government must take proper action now to try and prevent these deaths by giving the proper addiction support to people here in Moray and across the country who need help before their drugs problem kills them.
“The number of drug-related deaths has soared on Nicola Sturgeon’s watch, and she has admitted that already, but these figures are truly appalling. We need action and not just words now to prevent further tragic loss of life.
“I have already said that this is a “national emergency” and I’m calling on SNP politicians to stand up and be counted over this by backing my landmark Right to Recovery Bill – when it comes before the Scottish Parliament. This Bill would enshrine in law the right of everyone with an addiction problem to receive the potentially life-saving treatment they need.
“The bill addresses one of the biggest obstacles those with addiction issues face in turning their lives around – namely accessing treatment programmes, including residential rehab.
"Right to Recovery is supported by experts, charities and those with lived experience of addiction, now is the time for it to be passed into law.”